3.40 St James' Place Hunters' Chase
Friday 18 March | Age: 5yo+ | Prize: £45,000
Fromerly known as the Foxhunter Chase this race is usually held for amateur riders on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival, but there are no amateurs riding at the Festival this year so it takes on a different feel. It is run over a distance of about 3 miles and 2 and a half furlongs on the New Course.
Not a race that I have a strong fancy in this year to be honest so it's just a small each way interest for me.
My normal angle into the race is the amateur jockey angle which can make a huge difference in this race in particular. This season there are no amateurs so the race changes a bit and also loses a bit of its charm.
My selection is CHAMERON for the Loxton family who sadly lost Rose Loxton this year to cancer.
They are very close to the Nicholls family and it is trainer Paul Nicholls who is part owner of this horse whilst Rose's husband Sam has taken up the training licence.
I think they have a nice horse here and I am drawn to the fact that Harry Cobden (stable jockey for Nicholls) rides this and not Bob ‘n' Co which is the short priced favourite for the race.
The form of the horse suggests that it has what it takes to win this and the small stable is in good form having won their last two races at Musselburgh and Wincanton in recent weeks.
There won't be a dry eye in the house if they can win this and the horse will carry my small each way bet. Most firms are paying 4 places so make sure you get that rather than the standard 3 places for this race.
Voice of Value's St James' Place Hunters' Hurdle Tip
- Chameron 0.75pt ew at 16-1 with Bet365 (paying 4 places)
BOB AND CO was bought by owner David Maxwell to ride in this race, but the amateur jockeys’ ban has scuppered that plan. Bob And Co won handsomely at Haydock and Paul Nicholls has an excellent record in this event.
It Came To Pass caused a 66-1 upset last March and Richie McLernon takes over from the trainer’s daughter Maxine O’Sullivan. The gelding was fourth at Fairyhouse in November before unseating at Thurles last month.
Billaway, runner-up last year, is reported in great shape and has a bit more experience under his belt. Getting into a comfortable early rhythm is all-important, so the first three or four fences are important to the outcome in this big field.
Thommo's St James' Place Hunters' Tips
- Bob And Co 9/2 (Casumo)
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