Past Winners » Outlaw Pete


I am backing Outlaw Pete here at 6/1. We had him on side when he finished third in the cross-country race at Cheltenham’s November meeting, and there is every reason to expect that he can exact revenge on Uncle Junior, who finished 16 lengths in front of him that day.

There are two main reasons, actually. Firstly, the November race was a conditions race in which Outlaw Pete received just 3lb from Uncle Junior. Today’s race is a handicap, and he receives 19lb. Also, Josh Halley can claim his 7lb today, so he effectively 23lb better off with Uncle Junior for a 16-length beating, and that gives him a real chance on weights and measures.

Secondly, these cross-country races are usually much more about ability to handle the track that they are about weights and measures, and that factor also serves to increase Outlaw Pete’s chance. He had never been over the course before the November race, and it took him a while to warm to it. He had been around Punchestown’s cross-country track on several occasions, but the two tracks are very different, and he just seemed to be having a look at his fences in the early stages, with the result that he drifted back towards the rear of the field.

By the time he had got into a rhythm, he was out the back and apparently left with little chance of winning, but he progressed nicely to get back on the tails of the leaders with three obstacles to negotiate. Uncle Junior and Balthazar King got away from him over the last two, but he had done an awful lot of running just to get back among them, so you can easily allow him that.

It shouldn’t take him as long today to get into a rhythm and, if he can lie up just behind the pace in the early stages, he has a real chance of winning the race.

He is a little quirky, he ran out at the last fence in the Cork National on his previous run, but that run also proved that he is talented and still progressive. He beat Arabella Boy (who is a shorter price today) in the Irish Field Chase on heavy ground at Punchestown back in April, so if the rain falls before racing, the ground shouldn’t hold any fears.