Doncaster and Huntingdon previews: Fashion to turn on the style
David Metcalf | February 11, 2016
Blue Fashion to bounce back
Blue Fashion disappointed on seasonal reappearance, but can bounce back and prove that running to be all wrong by landing the 2m 3f novices’ chase on today’s card at Doncaster (16.05).
The gelding won juvenile events in 2012/13 when trained in France by Francois Cottin, and ran a blinder on his first start for trainer Nicky Henderson when finishing fourth to Diakali in a Grade 1 at Auteuil.
Blue Fashion backed that up with an excellent second to More Of That in a very competitive handicap hurdle at Haydock when attempting to give the subsequent World Hurdle winner 6lb.
The eight-year-old was also far from disgraced when runner-up to reigning Champion hurdler Faugheen in the 2014 running of the Coral Hurdle at Ascot, and was rated as high as 152 over the smaller obstacles.
That is 10lb more than main market rival Pine Creek, and makes Blue Fashion the one to beat on the book.
Although bitterly disappointing on chase debut at Ascot back in December, something was clearly amiss and Blue Fashion can make his class tell to take this en route to better things.
Diamond Gesture handicapped to sparkle
In the 2m handicap hurdle that closes proceedings (16.40), Diamond Gesture looks decent value to take advantage of a drop in the weights and belatedly open her account.
The Fergal O’Brien trained mare is yet to win in 18 starts over hurdles but has run some solid races to make the frame, including when third of 13 to Trend Is My Friend in a class 4 contest at Perth off 92.
Diamond Gesture stayed on strongly to be beaten 1 3/4 lengths and got put up 6lb for that effort to 98.
The eight-year-old has since largely struggled in eight subsequent starts, but as a result is now able to race in this lower grade class 5 contest off a reduced rating of just 79.
It gives Diamond Gesture major claims from a handicapping perspective on the pick of her form, and with the yard going well this looks a nice opportunity for her to finally get her head in front.
13.15: Under The Phone
14.20: Winter Escape
15.30: Walk On Al
16.05: Blue Fasion (NAP)
16.40: Diamond Gesture (NB)
Baoulet Delaroque can land hat-trick at Huntingdon
Baoulet Delaroque scored in terrific style last time out and can make light of a penalty to follow-up and land the hat-trick in the 2m 3f handicap hurdle on today’s card at Huntingdon (13.55).
The Paul Nicholls trained gelding opened his account over the obstacles with a comfortable 3 3/4 length success at Doncaster, and made a mockery of his opening handicap mark of 124 when sauntering home by eight lengths at Wincanton earlier in the month.
Baolet Delaroque travelled ominously well throughout in the latter, and after taking up the running two from home quickened clear to win with any amount in hand despite a mistake at the last.
It was a performance which suggested the five-year-old was miles ahead of the assessor and needing keeping firmly onside.
Connections are wisely turning him out quickly under a 7lb penalty before his revised mark kicks in, and Baoulet Delaroque is clearly on a serious upward curve and should have plenty more to offer after just four career starts.
Beauboreen weighted to go well
In the 3m 1f handicap hurdle (13.25), Beauboreen looks weighted to go well at a big price.
The Jenny Candlish trained gelding was a dual winner over hurdles in 2013/14, with the last of those successes coming in a class 3 contest over course and distance off a mark of 120.
Beauboreen also ran well to be placed twice over fences last season off ratings of 122 and 119, and is now able to race in this class 4 hurdles contest off just 108.
That is a career-low and makes the nine-year-old dangerously well-treated on the pick of his form.
Although Beauboreen has not shined in two starts this season, connections are now fitting him with the visor for the first time and it would be no surprise to see the son of Revoque put in a much improved performance now returned to the scene of his last success.
13.25: Beauboreen (NB)
13.55: Baoulet Delaroque (NAP)
14.30: Vazaro Delafayette
15.05: Minella Awards
16.15: My Khaleesi
16.50: Bright Eyes