Past Winners » Darkness


Darkness has an awful lot in his favour. He was a top class staying novice chaser three seasons ago, sent off as short as 11/2 for the Sun Alliance Chase before finishing third behind Star De Mohaison. Leg problems have meant that he has only run three times since, just twice since April 2006, but his penultimate run at Haydock, when he was third behind Possol and Mon Mome, was right out of the top drawer. He did disappoint in the Welsh National on his last start, but you can forgive any horse a bad run at Chepstow over an extreme distance on soft ground. Also, it was his second run back after a long break, the notorious ‘bounce’ run, so there is every chance that he can put that behind him today.

He goes on the ground, he has won at the track, and the handicapper dropped him 10lb for his absence. He has run just nine times over fences to date, so he has a lot less mileage on the clock than some of his fellow ‘veterans’. He is conceding weight all round, but he is the best horse in the race, and he is well over-priced in my book at 7/2.

Church Island looked good at Doncaster last time, but that really was a weak race. He was a novice at the same time as Darkness, and he wasn’t near him in terms of class. The money for Go For One is interesting but, again, he is a long way below Darkness in terms of class. I had Darkness is as clear favourite, and he is a decent bet at the price.


28th February, 2009