Vinndication to Book Festival Place With Scilly Isles Win

The six year old Vinndication looks set to book his place at the Cheltenham Festival on Saturday by winning the Grade One Scilly Isles Novice Chase. He is entered in both the JLT and the RSA at the festival, although from what we have seen so far, the two and a half mile trip for the JLT would suit this horse perfectly. That is the distance he tackles on Saturday, and with his unbeaten run on the line I am expecting a huge run from this horse.

The horse is still unbeaten in his career, with six starts to his name and six victories. Four of those came last season, with one in a national hunt flat race and three novice hurdle wins, with two this season in two novice chase races. He won a listed novice hurdle on his final run of last season, and won at Grade Two level last time out over fences, but this is the first time he will race in top class Grade One company.

Having said that, he looks very worthy of his position in the field, and it would be no surprise at all to see him sent off as the favourite tomorrow. He currently shares that honour with Defi Du Seuil, with both of them are available around the 2/1 mark for tomorrow’s race.

Defi Du Seuil was a very talented hurdler in his younger days and he is the main danger here. After winning at both the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals over hurdles and in Grade One company, he has failed to really kick on over fences. His best piece of form is from last time out, when he finished second in a Cheltenham Grade Two race, behind Lostintranslation, who is also in this field. Those two are level at the weight for this race, whereas Defi Du Seuil had to carry 3lbs more in the Cheltenham race. Couple that with the flatter track here playing into Defi Du Seuil’s hands and that is why I make him the main danger, and why I think he will finish ahead of Lostintranslation this time around.

Having said all of that, I don’t believe the form on offer is anything better than that we have seen from Vinndication, and out of all three runners I believe that Vinndication is the only one who could still be improving. I like this horse a lot, and a win here would really book his place at the Cheltenham Festival, and we are more than likely going to see his price shorten for the JLT Novice Chase too.

We are going into another Saturday afternoon where festival clues are on offer, and I’m backing Vinndication to take the Scilly Isles and book his place at Cheltenham.