Campeador primed for Fred Winter Juvenile battle
David Metcalf | March 15, 2016
Campeador hot stuff in Fred Winter
Campeador was a huge eye-catcher last time out, and can provide Irish handler Gordon Elliott with a second success in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival (16.50).
The County Meath-based handler saddled Flaxen Flare to land the spoils in 2013 and, in Campeador, has an unexposed gelding who has been laid out for the race.
Campeador showed some decent form over the obstacles in France, finishing runner-up on debut before scoring easily at Clairefontaine by 15 lengths.
The four-year-old was then bought by JP McManus and sent to Elliott, and there was plenty to like about Campeador’s first start for his new handler, when a tenderly handled fourth in a Grade 2 contest at Leopardstown.
Form makes opening handicap look lenient
Campeador travelled strongly for much of the contest, and after being driven to challenge two from home weakened to be beaten 10 lengths by Apple’s Jade, as lack of race fitness took its toll.
Jockey Barry Geraghty was at pains not to give Campeador a hard time, and the form of the race has a strong look to it, as the third home Footpad has come out and won twice since and is now rated 150.
Given that Footpad finished just two lengths in front of Campeador, it makes an opening handicap mark of 141 for the son of Gris De Fris look exploitable.
Diego commands plenty of respect
Paul Nicholls is the most successful trainer of the race, having won two of the 11 runnings since it was introduced in 2005, including Qualando 12 months ago.
The Ditcheat handler has two interesting contenders for this year’s renewal in Diego Du Charmil and Frodon, and the former looks the pick.
Diego showed useful form to finish in the frame in three runs in France last year, and the handicapper may well have taken a chance in allotting the four-year-old a mark of just 133 for his UK debut, as he is very highly regarded and did a sensational piece of work ahead of this assignment.
Missy Tata should not be underestimated
For those looking for a bit of value, Missy Tata fits the bill in each-way betting. The ex-French trained filly is a stablemate of Campeador, and looked a very smart prospect when scoring by 19 lengths at Down Royal on her first start for Elliott.
Although Missy Tata ran below expections when sent off odds-on and finishing a 15 length runner-up in a Grade 3 contest at Fairyhouse when last seen in action, connections found she had a problem after that run and an opening mark of 132 does not look harsh.
Coral’s top tip: Campeador has been laid out for the race and rates a solid bet. Stable compaion Missy Tata looks good each-way value.