James Davies - Timeform Analyst
PADDYS MOTORBIKE represents a trainer who is very meticulous when it comes to placing his horses, a 25% strike rate this season proves that point, so the fact he lines up here to contest a decent pot when he’s eligible for easier handicaps, has to be viewed really positively in my opinion.
His latest win at Huntingdon is backed up by a really good timefigure and the fifth added further substance to the form by winning a handicap in clear-cut fashion at Warwick last week. Paddys Motorbike is unlikely to have things his own way out in front here with the likes of Nordano and Kateson, but sitting behind the leaders shouldn’t be a problem and, with ground conditions holding no fears, he rates a decent sporting each-way bet.
Phil Turner - Timeform Handicapper
Eleven are due to go to post for this staying handicap chase, but it’s probably not quite so competitive a contest as that field size might imply. Indeed, it’s probably safe to put a line through plenty on recent form, whilst even last-time-out winners De Forgotten One, Cobolobo and Crossley Tender could find life tougher from their revised marks.
That certainly doesn’t apply to YALLTARI, though, who looks to have been given a real chance by the BHA handicapper (now down to a mark of just 135). Admittedly things haven’t really gone to plan for the lightly-raced grey since he finished a close third in the Reynoldstown Chase over this course and distance two seasons ago, but he’s shaped as if retaining all of that ability more than once, including when fourth to subsequent Welsh National winner Secret Reprieve at Chepstow last time.
The Venetia Williams yard couldn’t be in better form and, all in all, Yalltari makes plenty of appeal at current odds of around 6/1.
It promises to be a cracking renewal of the Clarence House Chase, with a field of eight headed by the top-class trio of Politologue, Defi du Seuil and Waiting Patiently. There is very little between the three on form (they are covered by just 2 lb on Timeform ratings), yet that closeness isn’t reflected in the current betting, with Politologue as low as 5/4 in places compared to 5/2 for Waiting Patiently and 9/2 for Defi du Seuil. In truth, it’s understandable why Politologue is favourite on the back of two career-best efforts but, equally, it’s clear that the value lies elsewhere – particularly when one considers both Waiting Patiently (three-two) and Defi du Seuil (two-one) lead Politologue in their respective head-to-head records.
Admittedly, DEFI DU SEUIL comes into this with a bit to prove on the back of two below-par efforts, but his reappearance run arguably wasn’t that bad if viewed in isolation (he shaped as if retaining all his ability for much of the way until fitness issues possibly came into play on bad ground). His CV features far more good efforts than bad ones and he’s worth chancing to bounce back to the form that saw him win this race so impressively last year.