Hereford Tuesday Preview – Follow AtTheRaces On Twitter Novices’ Chase
Analysis of Hereford’s feature contest
Hereford plays host to a competitive seven-race card on Tuesday afternoon including a competitive Class 3 Novices’ Chase which has attracted a strong field. Our expert has provided their thoughts on each individual runner as well as a tip for the feature event.
Dan Skelton’s six-year-old CALICO returned to form after a couple of Belo-par efforts last time out at Lingfield when chasing home Hudson De Grugy in a decent Class 2 Handicap Hurdle event.
Calico travelled like the likeliest winner turning for home but found the finishing kick of Gary Moores useful four-year-old too much in the closing stages.
There’s no reason to suggest that Calico can’t make up into a decent chasing prospect for connections as he is related to a winning chaser but Dan Skelton’s charge may need his first outing over the larger obstacles on this occasion.
Call Me Lord
CALL ME LORD was a progressive hurdler for trainer Nicky Henderson which culminated in landing two Grade 2 events including at Sandown in 2018 before taking the International Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2019. However, he failed to land another victory in that sphere in his next nine outings over hurdles.
The nine-year-old returned in December after a 227-day layoff on chasing debut but put in a sketchy round of jumping and faded out of contention at Uttoxeter to finish a well-beaten fourth.
The Simon Munir and Isaac Souede owned gelding should strip fitter for that initial venture over fences and is certainly the class angle in the feature contest.
Seven-year-old OSPREY CALL landed a novice Hurdle at Doncaster four starts back in taking fashion but has failed to back that winning run up including when failing to complete on his last two starts at Newbury and Taunton.
Interesting to see connections have wasted little time in starting his chasing career but after falling the last two starts over the smaller obstacles, Alastair Ralph’s charge is best watched now trying fences for the first time.
RED ROOKIE won his first three of four starts for trainer Emma Lavelle, including landing back to back bumpers at Exeter and Uttoxeter in early 2020.
The seven-year-old was soon off the mark over hurdles on just his second start over obstacles when driven clear to land a competitive Novices’ hurdle at Sandown last February.
The former point-to-pointer was always going to appreciate a crack at the larger obstacles under rules and Red Rookie returned in November to finish a neck second at Chepstow on first chasing start before falling last time out at Ascot when still in contention.
Emma Lavelle’s charge will be fancied by many to return to winning ways on his third chase start and has leading claims if none the worse for that recent Ascot tumble.
Soldier Of Destiny
SOLDIER OF DESTINY was placed in an Irish point-to-point for previous connections and managed to hit the frame in a maiden hurdle at Punchestown before finishing second in a Thurles Flat Race over an extended 2m3f.
Now in the care of Jamie Snowden, the six-year-old looked badly in need of his first run of the year for his new yard when beaten 41l at Ascot despite attracting market attention beforehand.
Jamie Snowden is quick to send his new recruit over fences for the first time but it’s hard to see Soldier Of Destiny landing a competitive blow in this deep contest.
Jane Williams’ GALICE MACALO registered three wins in novice hurdles last season and shaped with plenty of encouragement when returning in October when finishing fourth in a competitive Class 2 hurdle race at Chepstow behind the likes of Allmankind and eventual winner Masters Legacy.
The six-year-old mare never got involved in the Grade 3 Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham on penultimate start but the mare was sent off a strong second favourite to make a winning chasing debut at Exeter back in December. However, the mare lacked fluency over the larger obstacles and was pulled up in the hands of Chester Williams.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Galice Macalo outrun her odds but she does have something to prove and will need to brush up her jumping to go close.
Harry Fry’s talented mare PURE BLISS enjoyed plenty of success over hurdles last season and only tasted defeat in the Grade 2 Ballymore Leamington Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick this time last year before the seven-year-old made the trip over the Irish Sea and landed a Mares Handicap Hurdle at Punchestown under jockey mark Walsh to make it three wins from four hurdling starts.
Expectations were high as she made her comeback and chasing debut at Exeter in December but she could only manage second 9l behind Anthony Honeyball’s Deja Vue.
Harry Fry’s charge will have learnt plenty from that initial chasing experience but she jumped pretty well in the main last time out and that seasonal reappearance will have blown any cobwebs away.
Pure Bliss has the ability to make up into a useful chasing prospect for connections and she might be worth chancing at the forecast prices to give her in form trainer another winner.
Big Race Verdict
Call Me Lord was the best of these over hurdles but didn’t impress on chasing debut at Uttoxeter when last seen so he is worth taking on and perhaps PURE BLISS can regain the winning thread on just her second start over fences after an encouraging first time out display at Exeter. Harry Fry’s yard has been ticking over nicely in recent weeks and his mare can take Tuesday’s feature ahead of Galice Macalo who should outrun her odds.