Trends and Stats
Twenty-four of the last 25 winners won or finished second last time out
Only one winner had less than three chase starts since 1992 (Florida Pearl 1998)
All 18 Feltham winners have been beaten (6 horses beaten in that race have won)
The last 48 winners had run in the calendar year
Every winner since 1991 ran within 51 days
Seven year olds have won 11 of the last 13
No winner over eight since 1992
My Leading Contenders
I think this fella is a very talented horse but I also think this race is not for him. If he were mine I'd be going for the Jewson as the pace he showed when winning the Feltham was impressive and certainly not that of an out-and-out stayer - the type of horse that usually wins this. I'm a massive layer at the current price and this could well be a Grand Crus mark two, while the record of Feltham winners in the RSA is very poor.
Back In Focus
I cannot have him given that I think he needs soft or heavy to be seen at his best. Could well go on to prove a top Grade 1 performer but I don't think better ground and the undulations of Cheltenham will help his cause.
Disappointed when second in the Albert Bartlett last season and, although bred to stay well, he didn't finish strongly having travelled well for the vast majority of the race. That would worry me in this race and his disappointing win on his chase debut hasn't really captured the imagination.
Won a very good handicap off bottom weight at Cheltenham back in December and is set to get 2lb off all but one of his opponents currently entered for the race. This is a totally different proposition to carrying less than 10st in a handicap and I'd be disappointed if he weren't to find one or two too good.
Won well at Warwick and looks a very strong stayer. Can easily see him getting placed and the [6.4] in the place market is huge. Is he dogged enough at the death though? I suspect he'll find one too strong.
Got up in the dying strides at Ascot, then fell when still going well at Newbury next time and followed that with a second behind Dynaste but was never really put into the race. Beaten nine lengths by that opponent but I'm confident that he could reverse the form in this race. Interesting to note that Bob's Worth was placed in the Feltham having run a similar race before eventually coming on to win this. Reynoldstown at Ascot could be next and if running a good race there it would put him well on target to run a big race in the RSA.
Who I'm Backing
I'm laying Dynaste @ [3.5] with the belief he'll get well turned over. Another I will oppose is Back In Focus, this time in the place market, as he won't appreciate anything other than soft or heavy ground. I'm backing Hadrian's Approach @ [28.0] as I think he's better than he's shown and he's likely to be Henderson's number one. Should he win the Reynoldstown in style that price will almost certainly be less than half of those current odds.
Another horse I'm interested in backing is Tour Des Champs who fell when looking to mount a challenge in Rocky Creek's Warwick win. I think he'll stay this trip very well under the conditions and is exactly the type that does well in this. The [150.0] is certainly worth a nibble even though he may yet still run elsewhere.