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Darran

Hunter Chase - 4.40 Carlisle

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I will get round to reviewing the Foxhunter at some point in the next couple of days and I haven't had chance to watch the race back yet, but just to say the winner was very impressive and given the front 4 in the betting were the next 4 home there was no fluke about it. 

Hopefully the Carlisle race today isn't the last of the season. The 3 outsiders look to have little chance and although it is half interesting that Colin Tizzard has sent Ultragold all the way to Carlisle for this, in my view he is impossible to back after his really poor run at Taunton. Granted this is a weaker contest and I am guessing something was wrong given we haven't seen him since, but he's not for me.

That leaves Sir Jack Yeats and Just A Par. I thought Just A Par was a fortunate at Doncaster as Captain Cattistock was just idling having been out in front for a long time. I think if he had another horse to race against that Just A Par wouldn't actually have got that close to him. On the plus side we know he stays well and having had two runs this season he has fitness on his side Those two things might be enough to win this, but I am happy to take a chance on Sir Jack Yeats being fit enough first time out.

The slight concern is that he has never won first time out, but he ran a really good race first up last season in a much stronger heat than this as Shantou Flyer won and Mr Mercurial finished 2nd. He won a hunter chase at Kelso on heavy ground a couple of years ago so that isn't a concern. He ran a nice enough race when finishing at Aintree last year finishing 6th behind Top Wood. God knows what happened in the match at Fakenham, but it clearly wasn't his true running. He is still only 9 so he has youth on his side as well. For me he is the best horse in the race and for me a repeat of that 3rd at Kelso would be good enough to win this.

Sir Jack Yeats 2pts @ 2/1 with everyone

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I was a bit surprised that they chose to front run on Sir Jack Yates in the circumstances, but Just A Par was always able to keep up with him and in the end fitness and stamina told as he was able to power away to victory. Who knows what racing we will see in the coming weeks, but the winner could have the 4m race on Cheltenham's hunter chase night as a possible target. The 2nd will no doubt come on for the run although I find it hard to see the Aintree Foxhunter happening. I'm not sure Ultragold really improved on his Taunton run and retirement looks the best plan for him.

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