The ground could play a part in deciding today’s Savills Chase. Classed as good yesterday evening, it is now good to yielding. This will be just the third time in 21 years that good has featured in the description.
Road To Respect won at the Cheltenham Festival on good ground and is a worthy favourite today. He doesn’t seem to have many friends among the tipsters, but he’s top class and remarkably consistent.
Meade has a good record in this race too, having won it three times since 2010. 95% of trainer’s comments are to be taken with a pinch of salt, but I found Meade’s post race comment after Road To Respect’s latest victory quite telling. He said he had intended not to run the horse as RTR was much heavier than normal. The implication was that the horse was not fit to do himself justice . But Meade’s staff begged him to run as the horse was giving such a good feel on the gallops.
Taken at face value, this should mean the horse strips a fair bit fitter today. Of course there is also the chance his wellbeing was down to freshness. But given his overall profile and the way he beat a good field in this last year, I’m happy to bet him at 9/4.
I will split my stakes and also back Kemboy who seems to me a horse who’s learning all the time. In his keenness and over eagerness at some fences, he looks still green to my eye but with plenty potential. Whether he’ll improve enough to win this I don’t know, but around 12/1 I’m perfectly happy to pay to find out.
In the Christmas Hurdle Apple’s Jade looks too short by some way. I suspect this is not her best trip even though she won the race last year. It wasn’t as good a renewal as this and there was no Faugheen.
The old champ is getting on in years, but he would not be here if Mullins thought he couldn’t do himself justice. He’d want it on the softer side of good whereas the mare would want it on the better side.
On his only other attempt at this trip, eight months ago, he beat the Stayers’ Hurdle winner Penhill by 13 lengths. At 3/1, I think he’s the best value bet of the day.