Al Dancer and Getaway Trump Set for Intriguing Chase Clash
We often have some nice early season clashes between promising novice horses rather than deep races with many horses all running against each other and that is exactly what we have on Friday at Cheltenham. Racing is back at the home of national hunt action, and the race of the day sees Al Dancer take on Getaway Trump in a race that sees them both going over fences for the very first time.
These two both really impressed over hurdles last season and performed to a very high level. Both now go over the bigger obstacles, and having Cheltenham as their starting point is certainly going to give them a proper test first time up. However, if you listen to the two trainers involved here, Nigel Twiston-Davies for Al Dancer and Paul Nicholls for Getaway Trump, then both agree that these horses have every chance of being even better over these obstacles this season.
Looking at their handicap marks from last season, there is nothing to choose between them. Al Dancer finished with a mark of 151 and you felt there was more to come, while Getaway Trump finished on 155 after being put up for an impressive win at the end of last season.
If we see these two improving just a little bit and going up into the low 160s then that puts them bang in contention for races at the Cheltenham Festival such as the Arkle Chase if they stick to two miles, or the JLT Chase if they go up in trip. Obviously those races are a long way off, and we shouldn’t even be thinking about those right now, but to even mention these horses as possibilities for those races at this stage shows the kind of class we are seeing in this race.
We have four runners going to post, although this does appear to be a straight up match between the main two. Not That Fuisse looks a little outclassed here and his hurdles form also points to that, while Caius Marcius has done nothing wrong so far this season, but he has a 10lb penalty to carry here, so more than likely needs the front two to underperform to have a chance after being burdened with that weight.
For me it is better to concentrate on the front two in the betting, and of those two the one horse for me is Al Dancer. He comes here when his yard are flying which will certainly help him and if you look at the two trainers we have here, it is far more likely that Nigel Twiston-Davies will have his horse more forward than Paul Nicholls as this stage.
These two look destined for big things this season, and are certainly horses to follow regardless of what happens tomorrow. As for this race, I am siding with Al Dancer to get his head in front at the first time of asking, he could well develop into a smart chaser and ultimately an Arkle contender by the time we get to the end of the season.
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