Past Winners » Cooldine


I am backing Cooldine today. I am amazed that you can still back him at 6/1. This race is falling apart a little. All of the top Irish novice hurdlers from last year – Venalmar, Fiveforthree, Trafford Lad (regrettably), Forpadydeplasterer, Tranquil Sea – have failed to make up to be the strong contenders for this race that they promised to be. At the beginning of the season, the staying novice chasers looked like being as strong as they have been for years. They are not. I think that What A Friend is a weak challenger to Cooldine. He was cut dramatically for the race when Paul Nicholls said that he could be his main contender, in front of Breedsbreeze, and he hasn’t been extended again when Breedsbreeze turned into a non-stayer. He did beat Carruthers in a beginners’ chase at Uttoxeter in October, but that was Carruthers’s first run over fences, and the Twiston-Davies horses were just beginning their downturn when What A Friend beat Ballyfitz at Cheltenham in December. He was not as good a hurdler as Cooldine, and he is a false price…

… Cooldine was a top staying novice hurdler last season, he skipped Cheltenham to concentrate on Fairyhouse and Punchestown, he duly won at Fairyhouse and finished fourth behind Blazing Bailey in the Grade 1 championship stayers’ hurdle at Punchestown. This season, he won his beginners’ chase at Thurles, ran out of his skin to finish third behind Follow The Plan and Tatenen in the Durkan New Homes Chase at Leopardstown over an inadequate two miles – they thought that Tatenen would set a fast pace that day, so the game plan was to sit in behind, a plan to which Paul Townend felt he had to stick even when there was no early pace, which didn’t suit Cooldine at all, yet he was still only beaten eight lengths by the specialist two-mile novices – before winning the PJ Moriarty Chase on Sunday.

That was a really decent performance in my eyes. His jumping was a little ponderous at times, but he had to make his own running, and it is probable that his jumping will be more proficient when he gets a lead, which he will in the RSA Chase with Gone To Lunch in the line up. He battled on well to deny Forpadydeplasterer up the run-in on Sunday, and he will be even better over another three furlongs.

Willie Mullins knows what is required to win a RSA Chase. He won it with Florida Pearl and Rule Supreme, he sent out Snowy Morning and Alexander Banquet to finish second, and Mossy Green fell when leading in Rule Supreme’s year. After the PJ Moriarty Chase, I assumed that Cooldine would be put in as the 7/2 or 3/1 favourite for the race, so the 6/1 that is available about him now is massive in my book. Bet365 are going 9/2 about him, non-runner-no-bet, but he is an intended runner in the race now barring accidents, so it is worth taking the 6/1 instead, all in, and hoping that no ill-luck befalls him over the course of the next three weeks. Paul Nicholls says that Ruby will have a difficult decision to make, between Cooldine and What A Friend. I would be surprised if he didn’t choose Cooldine, and, if and when he does, his odds could tumble. Time to step in and take the 6/1 now.


11th March, 2009