Past Winners » Bel Ami De Sivola


I am giving Bel Ami De Sivola another chance here at a decent price.

We had Noel Meade’s horse on side in the good two-mile handicap chase at Leopardstown’s Dublin Racing Festival in February that was won by Patricks Park.  He was well-backed for that race, and he travelled well through his race just behind the leaders.  It looked like he was going to be involved when he moved up at the third last fence, but he made a slight mistake at the second last, and he looked like a tired horse after that.

You have to forgive him that run, but it was just too bad to be true.  Noel Meade’s horses were going through a quiet enough spell at the time, so maybe he just wasn’t at his best.

It is a little bit of a leap of faith, but if you can ignore that run, he has a big chance of going close today.  He ran a cracker on his previous run, in another two-mile handicap chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival when he just failed to catch Tisamystery in a race that was run in a good time.

The handicapper raised him by 4lb for that run to a mark of 130, but he has dropped him back 1lb for his last run to a mark of 129, which he should be able to surpass now as a chaser.  It is just 3lb higher than his hurdles mark and, a seven-year-old who has run just six times over fences, he has the potential to be a fair bit better now as a chaser.

I was hoping that he would step up to two and a half miles, his best form over hurdles was over two and a half miles, but the ground is going to be very testing today, so you are going to have to stay further than two miles to win this race, and that is a positive.

He likes it at Fairyhouse, he won a novices’ hurdle there, and he ran a good race to finish a staying-on fourth behind Nearly Nama’d in a handicap chase at the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle meeting there last December.

This is a good race, Patricks Park was a good winner of that two-mile handicap chase at Leopardstown and he is progressive, and Bon Papa is a classy individual.  However, Patricks Park is 10lb higher than he was at Leopardstown, and this trip may be on the sharp side for Bon Papa. Neither is invincible.