The Old Roan Chase isn’t the starting point for top-notchers like it used to be in the days of Kauto Star, Monet's Garden and Albertas Run, but it is still a quality handicap and this year’s renewal looks an up to scratch one.
Top on Timeform weight-adjusted ratings is the Dan Skelton-trained Allmankind (174), who isn’t the biggest, but enjoyed a cracking novice campaign over fences in 2020/21, winning four of his six starts. His best effort came on his final start when winning the Future Champions Novices' Chase at Ayr by 19 lengths, where the reopposing Tamaroc du Mathan was disappointing. Allmankind had a pipe-opener over hurdles at Chepstow earlier this month – first run since undergoing a wind operation – which should have put him spot on and he commands respect for all he has a big weight to carry.
Tamaroc du Mathan (173) has a contrasting physique to Allmankind, very much a chaser on looks, and he duly showed much improved form switched to this sphere last season. He made a mockery of a BHA mark of 131 on his chasing debut at Wincanton, and found only Shishkin too good on his next start in the Wayward Lad at Kempton. He made the most of a good opportunity when winning the Pendil Novices’ Chase in February, not needing to improve but once again impressing with how powerfully he travelled and the fluency with which he jumped. For whatever reason, he wasn’t at his best when unseating his rider behind Allmankind at Ayr when last seen, but he had looked very smart beforehand, and looks a big threat to Allmankind on these terms.
Nuts Well (172), who is now a 10-year-old, won this race 12 months ago from a 4 lb lower mark, proved himself at least as good as ever when making a winning return in a handicap at Kelso for the second year running. He finds himself on a career-high mark now, which makes life tougher, but his record over course and distance is a positive one (also finished runner-up in the Melling Chase) so he can’t be discounted.
Another to mention is Killer Clown (171), who was progressive in handicaps over fences last season, his standout effort coming when second in the Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury. He wasn’t seen to best effect when third at Sandown when last seen in April, yet to be asked for an effort when shuffled back soon after three out and unable to quicken early in the straight. Killer Clown has had a wind operation since and remains capable of better.
Timeform Analyst’s Verdict:
A competitive renewal despite the relatively small field with the vote in favour of Paul Nicholls' Tamaroc du Mathan. Clearly not himself at Ayr in the spring, he had previously looked one to keep firmly onside, landing the Grade 2 Pendil at Kempton in February, and he can go well. Grade 1 winning novice Allmankind shaped well over hurdles on return and is feared, ahead of Killer Clown.
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