This Saturday’s renewal of the 32Red Casino Chase (January 13, 2.05) may only be the fifth running of the race, but this Listed Chase has attracted a select field of 6 runners who are all rated 150+. The race takes place over 20½ furlongs at Kempton.
Winners have been rated as low as 150 and as high as 165
3 of the 4 previous winners have carried a penalty
Winners have been aged 7 to 10
Nicky Henderson is the only trainer to have trained 2 winners
The shortest-priced winner was returned at evens
The longest-priced winner was returned at 8/1
Has to concede between 2lb and 6lb to all his rivals bar Smad Place, but he has won 2 of 3 course and distance starts, one of which was when dishing out an 8-length beating to the re-opposing Gods Own. However, he is 13lb worse off at the weights with that rival here. Represents Nicky Hendeson, so must be respected, even though he has a tough task at the weights.
Also has to concede between 2lb and 6lb to 4 of his 5 rivals, including 6lb to the other joint top-rated horse Gods Own. Was getting 7lb from Gods Own when winning at Aintree earlier in the season, and is now 13lb worse off for around 20-lengths. Disappointed last time, too, but has won over course and distance.
Last win came off a mark of 143, and has struggled in two races since off 150. He’s also up in class here, and he will probably struggle not getting much weight off better rivals who are proven in this class.
Has 5lb to find with Smad Place and 13lb to find with Gods Own on official ratings, but the apple of trainer Malcolm Jefferson’s eye is a lightly-raced 7-year-old who remains unbeaten over fences after just 4 runs. One of those runs also includes a win over Politologue and, if that form can be believed, he could easily win this as he continues his ascension up the chasing ranks.
Beat the King George runner-up Double Shuffle off his current mark of 150 last season, but has struggled off marks in the mid 150’s since. That suggests he should struggle in this company, especially as all his best form is on good ground. He did win his only course and distance start though.
In receipt of between 4lb and 6lb from all his rivals, he would win this easily if back to his best, form which includes winning a Melling Chase and a Boylesports Chase. However, those wins were in April 2016, and he hasn’t run up to form since. His stable are going well though, whilst he is also reunited with Paddy Brennan for the first time since those two wins in 2016. Would prefer good ground.
Ballybolley, Art Maresque and Josses Hill shouldn’t be good enough on official ratings. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen as to whether the 10-year-old Gods Own and the 11-year-old Smad Place can turn back the years and find their best form, especially Gods Own who is weighted to win and reunited with Paddy Brennan. However, it could be worth chancing the improving youngster Waiting Patiently, for whom conditions may be ideal.