The Old Roan Chase (Aintree 3.50pm Sunday 23rd October) was first run in 2004, and this 2½ mile handicap chase now carries the name of the 3-time winner Monet’s Garden. However, the most famous winner is arguably Kauto Star, though even he couldn’t beat Monet’s Garden when they met here.
7 of the last 10 winners have carried 11-0 or more, whilst Richard Johnson and Nick Schofield are the only two jockeys with a ride who have ridden a previous winner, whilst Paul Nicholls has trained two winners, and Phillip Hobbs one.
7 runners are set to go to post for the 2016 Old Roan Handicap Chase.
Now rated 167, he won the 2015 Hennessey off 155 before going on to win the Grade-2 Betbright Trial Chase. Those wins came over 3-miles, but he did also win over today’s trip on his seasonal debut last year.
Sire De Grugy
The former Champion Chase winner steps-up in trip here as an experiment to see if it gives this top two-miler more options this season. He may stay the extra half-mile, but his previous course form leaves a lot to be desired.
Was in brilliant form in the Spring at the big festivals, including on his first run over course and distance. Has Vibrato Valtat over 40-lengths behind that day, and has won as early as November, but not sure he’ll be fully wound-up for his reappearance.
Won the 2015 Haldon Gold Cup, and his form is often best before Christmas. Had Gods Own behind that day, but was way behind him in April over course and distance. Still only 7 though, and could take a big-step forward this year.
Highly-regarded, and was third here in a graded novices hurdle in 2015. Also an well at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, and interesting carrying a light-weight for the first-time in a handicap.
Won a novice handicap over course and distance, but remains 12lb above his last winning handicap mark. Stable in good form though, and is carrying a lot less weight than he’s usually asked to do.
Ran well both starts over fences here, when second in the Mildmay Novices Chase and last year’s Topham. Handicapper kindly dropped him 7lb since that latter performance where he had to carry 11-12, and carries just 10-7 here, be it against much better opposition.
Monet’s Garden Old Roan Handicap Chase Tip
This is a really classy renewal of the Old Roan Chase, and none of the 7-runners can be dismissed with any certainty. Gods Own will take some beating if at his best, but it’s Vibrato Valtat who is usually at his best early in the season, and he was sent-off favourite for the Tingle Creek Chase last year. Paul Nicholls has his string in good order, and has won the race twice before.
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