The 2016 Schloer Chase (Sunday 1.55) is a two-mile grade-2 Chase run over the Old Course at Cheltenham. It is a conditions race in which horses who have won certain class events in the previous 12-months must carry penalties, though only two winners have carried penalties to victory in the 7 previous renewals, with 5 of the 7 winners carrying the bottom-weight of 11-0. Winners have been age 6 to 10 with 9-year-olds winning 3 renewals, whilst Nicky Henderson has trained 2 of the last 3 winners.
8 runners are set to go to post for the 2016 Schloer Chase.
Joint second-rated on 160, but must concede at least 4lb to all his rivals, and 10lb to two serious rivals. Would also like the ground softer, and stable could be in better form.
Decent fourth of top-weight in last season’s Grand Annual Handicap, but he comes out the worst-in at the weights today, and would be a surprise winner.
11-length winner of a course and distance handicap last time, and his rating has shot-up from 146 to 161. Only had 11-1 on his back there, but must now concede weight to more experienced horses. The young pretender to the Champion Chase Crown would pay a huge compliment to Douvan if he wins this, but the percentage call is to look elsewhere.
Beaten 22-lengths by Sprinter Sacre in the 2015 renewal, though got within 1½-lengths of Uxizandre in 2014. This looks a decent renewal though, and a place is probably the best he can hope for.
Done little to suggest he can win this since finishing runner-up to Un Des Sceaux at the 2015 Punchestown Festival, and beaten 23-lengths in last season’s Champion Chase.
Beaten 25-lengths in 2014 (did have top-weight) and beaten 30-lengths by Special Tiara after that. Injured that day, he returns to the track after 687 days off, and has a giant task even if his stable is in form.
Looked to have the world at his feet as a youngster, but injuries have ruined what could have been a brilliant career. Unlikely to be getting better at the age of 10, but his third in at the 2016 Punchestown Festival behind Gods Own and Vautour gives him every chance off just 11-0. Stable crept into form this week.
Officially top-rated by 7lb, yet carries just 11-0 after a winless season in 2015/16. He’s also the form horse after finishing third in the last two Champion Chases, and his stable are red-hot. The negative is his poor first-time out record, though he won’t get a better chance than this of winning a £42,000 first prize.
2016 Schloer Chase Tip
We’ve probably not seen the best of Fox Norton yet, but trying to give Simonsig and Special Tiara 4lb is totally different than winning a handicap off 11-1, and it could be between the two horses without penalties. Special Tiara has marginally the best form in the book, but Simonsig may handle the soft ground better of the two, and has more stamina if he needs to call on it.
Simonsig to win @ 7/2 Bet365, SkyBet, BetVictor
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