Peter Marsh Chase Haydock Odds

Last week’s E.W. Selection, Midnight Prayer gave us a great run for our money and must surely have collected but for making that “howler” at the third last in such testing conditions. However it was only his second outing of the campaign and with further improvement certain, he is one to keep in mind for the big one at Aintree inApril. Saturday’s Peter Marsh Chase is going to be run on similar attritional ground so once again stamina is going to be of paramount importance.

First run in 1981 it certainly attracted some high class animals in its early years, with no less than four Cheltenham Gold Cup winners featuring on the roll of honour in its first ten renewals. It can safely be said that none of Saturday’s contestants will be troubling the Prestbury Park judges in the big one on March 18th, but nevertheless plenty of decent animals have won this in recent years, with seven of the last ten winners racing off a mark of 140 or higher. Indeed Cloudy Lane collected in 2006 off a mark of 155, carrying 11st10lbs, demonstrating that weight has been no bar to success. Course form has been a most significant factor, with ten of the last seventeen winners boasting a previous course win. It hasn’t been a race for the younger brigade as we have to go back to 1996 to find a winner younger than eight, (Scotton Banks). The McCain yard, with two wins, has the best recent record, but Sue Smiths achievement of saddling a winner and five placed horses from nine runners in the last nine renewals is certainly worth noting, and makes her 10yo, Cloudy Two of considerable interest.

Unsuccessful since winning a Wetherby Grade3 handicap off a mark of 148 over two years ago Cloudy Too has been disappointing since, but showed signs of a revival over the course six weeks ago. He was in the process of running a decent race, travelling nicely in second behind the eventual winner Seventh Sky, when blundering badly at the fourth last. To his credit he kept on for third place 13L behind the winner. But for the mistake he would certainly have finished a lot closer and meets the winner on 10lbs better terms so this previous course winner is certainly worth considering.

It is amazing to see the six times Grade1 hurdles winner, Reve de Sivola, who has been rated as high as 167 at his peak, racing off a mark of 139 in this different discipline, and if he puts in a performance within a stone of his best over the smaller obstacles, Saturday’s opponents might as well stay in their stables. However his ten attempts over fences to date, have yielded a score of zero, although he has put up some decent performances, getting placed in Festival handicaps at Cheltenham and Aintree and coming fourth in a Grade1 chase at Punchestown. He won’t be inconvenienced by Saturday’s heavy ground, and indeed the more pedestrian pace and easy fences may well help his fencing technique, and spark a revival in the old warriors chasing career.

Despite being only seven, the Paul Nicholl’s trained Virak has had plenty of chasing experience. He has contested ten chases, winning four of them and being placed in five of the other six, so perhaps his age shouldn’t be viewed as too much of a negative. In his last race, six weeks ago at Ascot, racing off a mark of 158, he looked a tad unlucky. He tried to challenge between the the two horses in front of him before the last, but failing to get through he had to switch right. Despite loss of momentum he stayed on strongly and was only beaten a length, with the third horse, Saturday’s opponent, Fingal Bay, 3/4L back in third. Hopefully he will be ridden again by Nicholl’s fine young claimer, Harry Cobden taking offa useful 7lbs giving him a racing weight of 11st3lbs. He handles the ground and is a previous course winner, so clearly has plenty going for him.

Considering it was only his third attempt over fences, Jonjo O’Neills Spookydooky put up a decent enough performance when finishing second to another of Saturday’s opponents, Seventh Sky, over the course six weeks ago, when racing offa mark of 142. Further progress can be expected from this animal whose pedigree is all about stamina, and meeting Seventh Sky on 9 lbs better terms, things should be much closer at the weekend. A slight reservation would be the poor current form of the Jackdaw’s Castle operation who are struggling for winners.

Selection : Virak.

E.W. : Cloudy too.

Peter Marsh Chase Haydock Racing Betting Tips


Trained by the leading course trainer, Donald Mc Cain, Corrin Wood has a fine chance. After only six starts over the larger obstacles, and having won 3 of them, he is already rated 16lbs above his hurdle mark.

First held in 1981, the inaugural running was won by Little Owl who went on to victory in that years Cheltenham Gold Cup. The following four renewals saw two more Gold Cup winners in Bregawn and The Thinker winning here. Winner of this in 1993 and 1997 the great Jodami also got his name on the Gold Cup roll of honour yet again highlighting what a top class race the Peter Marsh can be. While nothing of Gold Cup standard has emerged in recent years it continues to be a race that attracts good class fields, and is always competitive. The classier animal has been most successful in the last four renewals, all having shouldered more than 11st. This could be partly down to the revamping of the course in recent years which has undoubtedly left it a considerably less demanding test. So what of this years race?

Sue Smith, who has won this with The Last Fling ( 2000 ) and Arctic Jack ( 2004 ) and who does so well with these staying chasers, runs Vintage Star and No Planning. Vintage Star was quietly fancied at Wetherby on Boxing Day but having made a mistake at the 2nd fence never got competitive. However it’s worth noting that he is owned by Trevor Hemmings, who loves to win at Haydock, is 4lbs lower than Wetherby, and will be well suited by Saturday’s much slower ground,so definitley worth a second look. Sue Smiths other runner No Planning also ran at Wetherby on Boxing Day, winning over hurdles,denying the four times seeking Spanish Fleet by a nk. However that was off a mark of 130 and Saturday’s test off a mark 17lbs higher looks more problematical.

Oliver Sherwood’s Global Power who was a late withdrawal from last Saturday’s Classic Chase at Warwick, ( this columns e.w. Selection ) due to a bruised foot, is of interest. Sherwood was particularly upset to have missed the Warwick race as he had the beating of the 2nd home there, Theatrical Star, on previous Fontwell form. Global Power thrives on ground that is virtually unraceable so Saturday’s likely conditions should be right up his street and perhaps compensation awaits.

Nigel Twiston-Davis’s lightly raced 10yo Benbens didn’t quite get home in the Welsh National where he finished 5th. He had been well in contention until the third last, and a return to the 5f shorter trip on Saturday should be in his favour. The one concern would be very heavy conditions, as he has never performed on anything worse than soft.

There are no such concerns about Lucinda Russell’s Green Flag who thrives in such conditions. Having won his first three chases, he was stepped up in class at Kempton in Dec 2013 and ran a very promising race, finishing 2nd to the very useful Annacotty. He made a very satisfactory reappearance finishing 4th to the subsequent Hennessy winner Many Clouds at Carlisle. He then disappointed in the Becher Chase at Aintree, but is easily forgiven that lapse. Having won on heavy ground at Hexham, Newcastle, and Ayr, Saturday’s conditions will hold no fears and off a mark of 140, with a nice racing weight of 10st10lbs he does look well handicapped. He is one of Saturday’s classier runners, and it isn’t difficult to see him being involved at the business end.

Another who looks to be on a good mark is Venetia Williams’s mud lover Bennys Mist. Out of his seven starts on heavy ground he has won six, so his excellent 3rd behind Poole Master and Cedre Bleu on gd/sft ground over the National fences, last time out, off a mark of 138 was highly commendable. Given a mark of 139 for Saturday seems generous, and with Venetia’s talent for getting the best from her team in testing conditions, he is another for the short list.

Trained by the leading course trainer, Donald Mc Cain, Corrin Wood deserves a mention. After only six starts over the larger obstacles, and having won 3 of them, he is already rated 16lbs above his hurdle mark. On his second outing this season he ran well enough at Wetherby on Boxing Day, where, despite stumbling after jumping the 5th last, he finished 3rd off a mark of 147. He is one of the few in the race to have been competing at cl1 level, looks well treated off a mark of 146, and will handle the conditions, so this progressive animal must be considered.

Selection: Corrin Wood.

E.W: Green Flag.