Past Winners » Boston Bob


It is hard to split the top three in the market for the Melling Chase, and it shows just how weak a Grade 1 chase it is that the three of them are disputing favouritism. Boston Bob is worth backing at 8/1.

Willie Mullins’ horse has ground to make up on Rajdhani Express from the Ryanair Chase three weeks ago – four and a half lengths to be precise – but that figure is misleading. Having been held right up on what was his first run over fences since his two falls last spring, the front group just got away from the fourth last a bit quicker than he did, and started to get away from him a little. He wasn’t helped by a slowish jump three out, after which Ruby Walsh gave him time to find his feet and, by the bottom of the hill and turning for home, he was really starting to roll as he began to make up ground.

However, the gap between Al Ferof and Rathlin completely closed on him as that pair both moved inwards. Ruby first had to stop riding on Boston Bob and had to switch him inside, and then he had to steady him right into the second last as he was on the wrong stride.

Given that the front group were powering ahead with momentum, he was never going to get back into it after that. He took time to get moving again but he was really motoring up the hill, closing on Hunt Ball and Al Ferof quickly at the finish. With a clear run he almost certainly would have finished at least fourth, maybe third, and perhaps even better than that, such is the amount of momentum he lost.

It is interesting that connections decided to come for this race instead of running in yesterday’s Betfred Bowl. This is a much more winnable race for sure, but Willie Mullins is obviously happy that he can be effective over two and a half miles. After all, it is the distance over which he won the Grade 1 Dr PJ Moriarty Chase as a novice.

Seen by many as a thorough stayer, he is not short of pace. His Ryanair defeat was his first defeat over hurdles or fences over less than three miles, and his big sweeping move around the field at the bottom of the hill in last year’s RSA Chase doesn’t suggest he is a slow horse.

With a run, and a completion, back over fences under his belt, he can probably be ridden a little further forward today, and the long run between the second last and the last should suit him well. It appears that the market has over-looked him a little.

BOSTON BOB WON (ADV 17/2 [R4]), SP 5/1