Definitly Red each-way value in National Hunt Chase
David Metcalf | March 14, 2016
Definitly Red weighted to go well in National Hunt Chase
Definitly Red has some strong form to his name, and looks decent each-way value in a wide open renewal of the National Hunt Chase on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival (16.50).
The Brian Ellison trained seven-year-old scored in good style on his chasing debut at Catterick and then ran a blinder when runner-up to Black Hercules in a Listed contest at Warwick.
Definitly Red made a couple of costly mistakes, but travelled well for much of the race and stayed on nicely to be beaten 2 3/4 lengths.
Black Hercules is a well-regarded sort who was ante post favourite for this but misses the race, and third home Emily Gray, who finished 20 lengths behind the selection, has come out and won since.
Opening handicap mark looks lenient
That gives the form a solid look, and Definitly Red also ran very well last time out when runner-up to RSA hope Blaklion in a decent Grade 2 contest at Doncaster.
Those last two efforts read well in the context of this race, and Definitly Red is a strong travelling sort who looks tailor-made for this 4m amateur riders contest.
Another plus is that connections have secured the services of Sam Waley-Cohen to do the steering, as he has tasted success at the Festival and is one of the top amateurs in the game.
Minella Rocco feared most
Trainer Jonjo O’Neill has won the race a record five-times, and Minella Rocco looks to have been laid out to try and provide the master of Jackdaws Castle with another success.
The six-year-old looked a very exciting prospect when winning both his starts over hurdles last year in facile fashion, but failed to shine in his first three starts over fences this season.
However, there was much more to like about his run last time out when an eye-catching staying on second to Vyta Du Roc, in a Grade 2 contest over 3m at Ascot.
If building on that, the gelding looks a massive player, and the step up in trip should suit given how Minella Rocco finished off the race.
Then the booking of crack Irish amateur Derek O’Connor to do the steering is another big plus and suggests that connections mean business.
Pont Alexandre the pick of Mullins trio
Ponte Alexandre has always been held in high regard and looks the pick of a trio of runners representing leading Irish trainer Willie Mullins, and fellow Irish raider Noble Endeavour is also in with a shout on the pick of his form.
Another to consider is the Colin Tizzard trained Native River. The six-year-old, who has won twice and finished in the frame three times in five starts over fences, is a really tough sort who has a very likeable attitude and should relish this stamina test.
Coral’s top tip: Definitly Red boasts some strong form and looks cracking each-way value. Minella Rocco is unexposed and has to be a big player given O’Neill’s record in the race.