Past Winners » Bury Parade


I am backing Grandioso here. I think that he is over-priced (at 6/1).

Paul Nicholls’ horse was just an ordinary novice hurdler, but he has progressed markedly since he started jumping fences. He looked really good in winning on soft ground over today’s trip at Ludlow last February, coming home a distance clear of his rivals. The third horse from that race, Oscar Hill, added ballast to that form when he came out and finished second in a good handicap at Newbury on his next run, and he is now rated 12lb higher than he was then.

Grandioso then went and beat Molotof in a good little race at Kempton on good ground. He may have had a battle on his hands had Theatre Guide not fallen at the last that day, but Theatre Guide finished third in this year’s Hennessy and is now rated 151, so the fact that Grandioso gets to race off a mark of 147 today means that he still has plenty of leeway in his handicap mark.

More than that, however, he remains progressive. He has had his problems, he had colic last spring and again in the autumn, but he returned to run a nice race on his debut this term – when all of Paul Nicholls’ horses were coming on for their debuts – to finish third behind Cantlow and Easter Meteor in a good two-and-a-half-mile chase at Newbury’s Hennessy meeting. He did disappoint on his next run in Double Ross’ December Gold Cup at Cheltenham, but he jumped to his right that day, he may have injured himself, and he was pulled up early. He was reportedly fine the next day, and you can easily put a line through that run.

He should be much happier today back on a right-handed track, this intermediate distance is his trip, and he proved at Ludlow that he can handle soft ground well. He has raced just six times over fences, and he still has the potential to progress a fair way beyond his current handicap rating. He could run a big race today.

I am also getting Nicholls’ other horse Bury Parade on side to small stakes. He proved that he had his quirks when he refused to race at Exeter last time, but he had run a cracker on his debut this season to just beat Hadrian’s Approach at Kempton (with Theatre Guide well beaten in third).

He was another progressive novice chaser last year, he also goes well on soft ground and he is another whose best form is at right-handed tracks. He is risky, but his trainer will be alive to his quirks at the start today, he says that his assistant trainer will be down at the start with him to ensure that he starts. A first-time hood should also help.