There have been 15 renewals of the Denman Chase, which is run over 3-miles, and was renamed from the Aon Chase in memory of the 2008 Gold Cup winner, who also put up two stunning performances at Newbury in winning the Hennessey twice.
Paul Nicholls has trained the winner 8 times, whilst the Pipe stable have won it twice. Tom Scudamore is the only jockey riding in this year’s race to have won it before.
There are 7 runners set to go to post for this year’s renewal, so here’s our analysis and tip.
Rocky Creek 15/8
The only representative from the Paul Nicholls yard was pulled-up on his last start, but had previously ran okay when second to Don Cossack at Down Royal. More interestingly, he came good in February last year when winning the Betbright Chase at Kempton off a mark of 154. His two runs at Newbury have been polar opposites, as he was a good second in the 2013 Hennessey, but was pulled-up in the following year’s race. A chance, but has to give 6lb to a higher-rated rival.
Splash Of Ginge 16/1
Has been nibbled at in the ante-post market, and that support is probably based n the fact that he had his finest moment here when winning the 2014 Betfair Hurdle. However, he was only rated 134 that day and, as his highest winning rating over fences is only 145 (with a 7lb claimer on), he’s got plenty to find on the ratings.
Bob Ford 16/1
His highest winning is only 133, and he really shouldn’t be good enough.
His head second to Silviniaco Conti at Aintree in April is the best piece of form on offer and, though he’s run poorly so far this season, all 3 of his wins have been between February and May. The Pipe stable have also won this twice before, and he’s officially 7lb well-in at the weights getting 6lb from Rocky Creek.
Houblon Des Obeaux 4/1
Will love the ground, and has ran well at Newbury on several occasions, especially when second in this race last year and last season’s Hennessey. However, he’s run terribly on his last 6 starts, and will need to come back to form.
Midnight Appeal 100/1
Highest winning mark is 132, and he’s been in decline since that win in 2013. No chance, and connections will be hoping at lest one other horse doesn’t finish so they win some prize money.
Giant Bolster 16/1
A grand veteran who has twice been placed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but he’s another in decline, and has never troubled the judge in 6 runs at Newbury.
Houblon Des Obeaux would have every chance if he came back to the form of last year’s second place behind Coneygree but, as he hasn’t been in that sort of form so far this season, this looks best left to the top-rated Ballynagour who usually comes good around this time of year.