Past Winners » Astracad
I am backing Astracad in this veterans’ chase. I think that he has a lot in his favour here, and that it is worth backing him at 4/1, now with Shuil Royale out of the race.
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ horse is a talented and potentially well-handicapped horse now, racing off a mark of 131. Rated 144 at his peak, but he is not alone in this veterans’ race as having had a higher rating than the rating off which he races today, but there are reasons for believing that he can perform a fair way above today’s mark.
For starters, he is generally at his best at this time of year. He is an early-season horse. His form tailed off last spring and, as a result, his handicap rating came down. His record on his seasonal debut reads 2314581. On his debut last season, he won a decent handicap chase at Chepstow off a mark of 132, 1lb higher than today’s mark, beating Third Intention by a neck. And on his second and third runs last season, he ran good races in handicap chases over today’s course and distance, in the two-mile handicap chase at this meeting on the latter occasion.
He steps into veterans’ company today for the first time, and he should enjoy the slight drop in grade. And he is only 10, he is young for a veteran. Also, he goes well at Cheltenham, he runs lots there and he has won there twice.
Given all of that, it is probable that his trainer has had this race in mind for him for a while. Jamie Bargary knows him well and he takes off another 3lb and, on ground just on the easy side of good, which should be perfect for him, he could go close.
ASTRACAD WON (ADV 4/1, SP 100/30)