Cheltenham Festival 2015: Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase preview (16:00)
Any Currency is a real cross country specialist and looks to hold outstanding claims of landing the Glenfarclas Handicap Chase (16:00).
Trained locally by Martin Keighley, the gelding failed by just a a short-head to overhaul Balthazar King in last year’s renewal.
But, with that horse missing the race and being trained specifically for the Grand National, the way looks clear for Any Currency to go one better.
The 11-year-old comes into the race in terrific shape having scored in good style over course and distance at the International meeting in December.
Any Currency raced with plenty of zest throughout. and after being sent to the four from home stayed on powerfully up the run-in to beat Quantitativeeasing by 12 lengths.
The son of Moscow Society won with plenty of authority and had several of today’s rivals in behind.
A similar performance is going to make Any Currency hard to beat, and his proven course form is a major plus.
Duke Of Lucca represents last year’s winning trainer/jockey combination of Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson and would have a good shout pick of his form.
The 10-year-old finished fourth in the 2012 running, eight lengths behind Any Currency who came second and now meets that rival on 12lb better terms.
That entitles Duke Of Lucca to finish much closer, and he showed that he is a classy sort on his day when landing a Listed class 1 contest at Aintree last April.
The big concern, however, is that Duke Of Lucca is yet to fire in three runs this season, and fell last time out over this Cheltenham course and distance in the race won by Any Currency.
Toutancarmont is a rare French raider and looks the “dark horse” in the contest who could give Any Currency most to think about.
The eight-year-old has won 12 of his 24 starts over fences and has mopped up in cross country contest at Fontainebleau and Pau.
That form of those successes is very hard to evaluate, but Toutancarmont is clearly a very talented animal and going to be a major player if taking to the track.