Past Winners » Uxizandre


Uxizandre is not a massive price here, but I think that he is the most likely winner of the race, and he is worth backing at 5/2.

After winning his first two chases last season, it was disappointing that Alan King’s horse was well beaten in a handicap at Warwick in February. He was sent off at 33/1 for the JLT Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on the back of that run, and he was deserted by AP McCoy, but he put up a massive performance to go down by just three parts of a length to Taquin Du Seuil, the horse for whom the champ had deserted him.

He led from early that day, and it looked that he would hang on when he led over the last, but he was just worn down by the Jonjo O’Neill horse late on.

That was over two and a half miles, and he went on to Aintree and won the Manifesto Chase, also over two and a half miles, beating Oscar Whisky and the Arkle winner Western Warhorse. However, AP McCoy, who was back on board at Aintree, apparently told Alan King that two miles would be his trip. And he did have the option of running in the Paddy Power yesterday over two and a half, a race that his owner JP McManus has never won. It is significant that he is running here instead over two.

He was beaten on his re-appearance at Aintree, but he did not have his cheekpieces on that day, and that run should have set him up for today. In AP McCoy’s absence, Barry Geraghty is an excellent booking and, over the minimum trip, the rider can be as aggressive on the horse as he likes. He handles soft ground, and today’s conditions should place a premium on stamina over the minimum trip.

I am very afraid of Dodging Bullets, Paul Nicholls’ horse goes well fresh, this is his time of year, he handles soft ground well and he has won at this meeting for the last two seasons. There may not be much in it, but I just think that Uxizandre may be the better horse.