StevieDay1983 Posted March 2 Share Posted March 2 Previously known as the Mildmay Of Flete, the Festival Plate is a handicap chase run over the intermediate trip of 2M 4F 127 yards of the new course. Novices have an excellent record in the race with 6 of the last 7 winners in their first or second season over fences. The past 7 winners have contested a graded novice hurdle or novice chase. Stables that have done well in the race in the past include David Pipe who collectively with his father Martin have won 7 of the last 25 renewals whilst both Venetia Williams and Nicky Henderson have won the race multiple times. Ireland have won 4 of the last 7 renewals. Last year’s 22/1 winner Coole Cody broke a four year run of well backed horses winning. As with all the handicaps this week expect a maximum field of 24. Current ante post favourite is the Emmet Mullins trained JP McManus owned So Scottish who we haven’t seen since chasing Boothill home at Ascot in November over 2M 1F. He’s been trained for this event (no other entries at the meeting) and looks sure to be thereabouts with the only thing not to like at the moment being his price of around 9/2. Il Ridoto has run well in competitive handicaps here on three attempts this season culminating in his victory on Cheltenham Trials Day when beating Fugitif a length. The latter is 2lb better off and is another who has each way claims. Nicholls’ Stage Star also has an entry but is more likely to run in one of the two novice chases he’s entered in. Willie Mullins’ Adamantly Chosen also has the option of the Ultima and the Turners but is a decent novice who would be very much of interest if running here. Haut En Couleurs would of beaten Fakir D’Oudairies had he not fallen at the last at Thurles in January but was a tad disappointing when only second to stablemate Janidil the following month at Gowran Park. He will probably run elsewhere but were he to turn up he would be a player despite a hefty weight. Balco Coastal’s form looks pretty solid with Solo whom he beat cosily at Kempton on Boxing Day winning in graded company since whilst it was no shame to chase home the smart Gerri Colombe in grade one company last time. Nicky Henderson’s seven year old can go well if running here rather than in his other entry, the Turners Novices’ Chase. Henderson also has Bold Endeavour entered who flopped at Ascot last time. Jamie Snowden’s Datsalrightgino took his form up a level when runner up in grade two company last time and he also has solid each way claims. An interesting Irish challenger is the Martin Brassil trained seven year old Fasterlow who went down by a short head in last season’s Coral Cup and has kept he highest of company over fences in two starts this season been. Beaten over twenty lengths on both outings. He may have been trained for this and has to be on the short list. Mouse Morris has entered French Dynamite, who is also in the Ryanair, and has a touch of class about him having chased home the smart Fakir D’Oudairies at Thurles last time. He’ll carry a big weight but has claims if taking this option. Another home challenger who could make his presence felt is the Dan Skelton trained Midnight River who has shown his liking for this track by winning a premier handicap over course and distance on New Years Day. He’s risen 7lb for that victory but is not out of this. A tough race but with Emmet Mullins having landed many a punt over the years on these shores including in this very contest two years ago with The Shunter can land this with his improver So Scottish who appears to have been laid out for this contest. Punters Lounge Tip: So Scottish 9/2 NR NB at >bet365 - Click Here To Bet by The Brigadier Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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