Past Winners » Shotgun Paddy


Stage one of backing the winner of the Classic Chase at Warwick on Saturday is to back a runner. Several of the horses have multiple entries, most of them in the North Yorkshire Grand National at Catterick tomorrow, so there is a good chance that the race will cut up quite significantly.

Shotgun Paddy didn’t hold an entry in the Catterick race, but he is entered in the novices’ chase at Warwick on Saturday as well as in the Classic Chase. However, the novices’ race is worth £18,500 while the Classic Chase is worth £60,000 and, with Black Thunder in the novices’ race, it is easy to argue that it would be as difficult to win as the Classic Chase. It would be surprising if Emma Lavelle was not favouring the Classic Chase for her horse.

More than that, he has a real chance of winning the Classic Chase off his handicap mark of 145. He was always a stayer who relished soft ground as a hurdler, and he put up a really good performance on his debut over fences in those conditions when he won a three-mile beginners’ chase at Chepstow in October on soft ground.

He jumped well that day and stayed on strongly to beat the highly-regarded Just A Par – who won a Grade 2 race at Newbury on his next run by 14 lengths – with Boyfromnowhere back in third.

Shotgun Paddy was disappointing on his next run, at Haydock, when he was well beaten by Black Thunder, but he proved that run to be all wrong when he got to within three lengths of that Paul Nicholls horse on his latest run at Lingfield. That was just a three-horse race, but Black Thunder is good, he is now rated 153, and Shotgun Paddy (who was in receipt of 3lb) made him go all the way to the line (after making a mistake at the second last fence).

That was just Shotgun Paddy’s third ever chase, and he should progress again for it. He has only just turned seven, and he has significant scope for progression as a staying chaser. He jumps well, so Warwick, where the fences come at you fast down the back straight, should suit him well. He thrives on soft ground, and the three-mile-five-furlong trip should suit. A handicap mark of 145 is more than fair, and he should run well off that mark.