FRUITY O’Rooney, a 10-year-old trained by Gary Moore  and runner-up in the JLT Specialty Handicap Chase last year, has been a model of consistency over fences with a string of commendable efforts in big handicaps writes Milesey. On his last two starts, Fruity O’Rooney has been placed both at Sandown and on Cheltenham Trials Day behind Katenko, who has developed into a contender for the Gold Cup. Our Mick is one of the favourites as he finished this race in third position 12 months ago behind Alfie Sherrin. Now a year older and a year more experienced, he should theoretically have stronger claims than 12 months ago off just a 1lb higher mark. Last year’s winner Alfie Sherrin has been pretty fragile during most of his career but we can’t exlcude this horse from the mai ncontenders.

Cantlow has won two of his four starts to date over fences, claiming novice events at Plumpton and Taunton on his two most recent outings.

Midnight Chase, a 11-year-old, is without a win since landing last season’s Argento Chase at Cheltenham, where he beat Tidal Bay. He has since struggled in Graded races and will be dropped back into handicap company at the Cheltenham Festival before tackling the John Smith’s Grand National.

Opening Batsman, a seven-year-old, has gone up eight pounds in the weights after winning one of the most prestigious staying handicap chases of the season at Kempton.

Outsiders? The Package and Loch Ba, if they run, might be good ideas.

If you don’t already have a Bet365 account then you could win a £10 free bet on Friday’s Cheltenham Gold Cup by opening one using this link; Bet365 and depositing before midnight on Wednesday 13th March. Full details can be found over here. Don’t forget there’s also £200 in free bets available to anyone who opens a Bet365 account.

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  1. Milesey 5 years ago

    JLT Specialty Handicap Chase

    Our speed-rating test eliminates all-but eight of this 24-runner field, and ruling-out those with dodgy Cheltenham form leaves us with the most likely contenders of Knockara Beau (18.0), Fruity O’Rooney (13.0), Nadiya De La Vega (19.0) and The Package (18.0). Given the healthy odds available about all three, I’ll be splitting my stake and backing all of them.


  2. 1plus2 5 years ago

    JLT Specialty Hcap Chase

    A 3m1/2f Handicap Chase which often features past and future Grand National runners.

    Despite being a handicap this has been a good race for punters over the years.

    Bet 365Back MERRY KING with Bet 365 and get a free bet on the next race if he wins at odds of 4/1 or more. Offer applies to all Channel 4 races all week

    Fruity O
    Fruity O’Rooney, The Package and the winner Alfie Sherrin towards the closing stages of the 2012 JLT Chase.

    JLT Specialty Hcap Chase Trends
    10/10 were aged seven to ten
    10/10 were rated 129-143
    9/10 carried no more than 10st 12lb
    8/10 had a top three finish last time out
    8/10 had no more than eleven starts over fences
    7/10 came from the first four in the betting
    7/10 ran no more than four times that season

    JLT Specialty Hcap Chase Trends Analysis
    The JLT Specialty Hcap Chase has been an excellent race for horses that have run well at previous Festivals with some horses managing to perform well in this race more than once. (Bensalem won here in 2011 and would have gone very close but for falling in 2010 and Ad Hoc, Juveigneur and Irish Hussar were all placed twice in the last ten years).

    So focus on any previous Festival winner or previously placed horse from this race who are targeted here.

    Whilst our trends highlight the good record of the first four horses in the betting in this race (eight out of the last ten winners), the favourite has a poor record with only two outright favourites winning since 1977.

    JLT Specialty Hcap Chase Last Ten Winners
    Table below shows the last ten winners of the race, their age/weight at the time of winning, trainer, jockey and odds (starting price).

    Year Horse Age/Wt Trainer Jockey Price
    2012 Alfie Sherrin 9-10-0 JJ ONeill R McLernon 14/1
    2011 Bensalem 8-11-2 A King R Thornton 5/1
    2010 Chief Dan George 10-10-10 J Moffatt P Aspell 33/1
    2009 Wichita Lineman 8-10-9 JJ ONeill AP McCoy 5/1F
    2008 An Accordion 7-10-12 D Pipe T Scudamore 7/1
    2007 Joes Edge 10-10-6 F Murphy D Russell 50/1
    2006 Dun Doire 7-10-9 A Martin R Walsh 7/1
    2005 Kelami 7-10-2 F Doumen R Thornton 8/1
    2004 Fork Lightning 8-10-5 A King R Thornton 7/1
    2003 Youlneverwalkalone 9-10-11 C Roche B Geraghty 7/1

    JLT Specialty Hcap Chase Preview
    Alan King has had two winners and a placed runner in the last eight years in this race and that score could be even better if the 2011 winner Bensalem had not come down at the old second-last fence here in 2010.

    Nicky Henderson has had five horses placed in the equivalent race since 2005 and also recorded a victory with Marlborough in 2000. Horses from the Seven Barrows yard will definitely be worth considering for the 2013 renewal.

    Novices also have a great record in this race so keep an eye out for any decent prospects who have taken a while to get their act together in their novice year as they could be well handicapped.

    JLT Specialty Hcap Chase Tips
    We advised taking a chance on backing MERRY KING in the hope that he would be targeted at the JLT rather than the NH Chase and we are sitting on a great bet at 20/1 now that the horse is going to run in this race.

    MERRY KING ran Rolling Aces to three quarters of a length two runs ago receiving just two pounds and that horse has since shot up the handicap from an official rating of 130 that day to 153 now.

    Merry King has since run another top quality race when just losing out to Cannington Brook at Haydock on very soft ground. The form is rock solid and he still looks overpriced.

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