Vaniteux can strike like Lightning on fellow Cheltenham contender Shaneshill
David Metcalf | January 29, 2016
Although the Sky Bet Chase takes top billing at Doncaster this Saturday, elsewhere on the card there are two cracking Grade 2 contests featuring a quartet of leading Cheltenham Festival contenders.
Vaniteux vies with Shaneshill
In the 2m Lightning Novices’ Chase (13.00), Irish raider Shaneshill looks horns with with the highly regarded Vaniteux.
Shaneshill, who finished runner-up to stable companion Douvan in last season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and is unbeaten in two starts over fences, is currently 4/1 second-favourite with Coral for the 2m 4f JLT Novices’ Chase on Thursday March 17th.
The Willie Mullins trained seven-year-old is a classy sort who has a big future over the obstacles, but I am not sure that this speed test on decent ground will play to his strengths.
For that reason, I fancy the Nicky Henderson trained Vaniteux to come out on top on this occasion.
Vaniteux value to strike Shaneshill down
Seven-year-old Vaniteux, who is currently 9/1 with Coral for the Arkle Challenge Trophy on March 16th, won in terrific style on chasing debut at Kempton and lost little in defeat at the same venue last time out when beaten just a 1/4 of a length by Ar Mad after bad blunder at the first.
Vaniteux did well to get so close after that error seemed to unsettle him, and has his ideal conditions to get back to winning ways.
Arzal ran out an impressive 13-length winner of a Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase during the Hennessy meeting at Newbury, but Henry Whittington’s bay gelding found himself beaten by Ar Mad and Vaniteux in that subsequent outing over Christmas on King George VI Chase weekend.
Barters Hill’s credentials are Up For Review
The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (14.40), features a mouthwatering clash between the unbeaten Barters Hill and the much vaunted Mullins’ trained Up For Review.
I like the chances of the former who was a top-class bumper performer and has looked just as good in winning his two starts over the obstacles this season.
The Ben Pauling trained gelding is a relentless galloping horse who never knows when to give up, and his overall form is stronger than that of Up To Review.
Barters Hill is currently 7/2 favourite with Coral for the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival on Friday March 18th, with Up For The Review priced up at 4/1, so the outcome of this is going to have a major impact on the market.
Coral’s top tips: Vaniteux has conditions in his favour to land the Lighting Novices’ Chase.
Barters Hill, meanwhile, can enhance his own Cheltenham Festival claims by taking the scalp of Up The Review in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.