Fairyhouse Easter Festival: Gamble can provide Lee with another big race success
David Metcalf | March 29, 2016
Top Gamble holds all the aces in Normans Grove Chase
Kerry Lee has enjoyed incredible success in her first season as a trainer, and Top Gamble can provide her with another big race winner in the Grade 2 Normans Grove Chase at Fairyhouse today (15.55).
The eight-year-old has developed into a high class chaser, winning five of his 10 starts over the larger obstacles and finishing in the frame on three occasions.
In the last of those successes at Newbury 45 days ago, Top Gamble posted a career-best effort when beating last year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Dodging Bullets by 10 lengths in the the Grade 2 Game Spirit Chase.
The gelding raced prominently at the head of affairs, before taking up the running at the seventh and gradually turning the screw on his rivals.
After being driven at the third last, Top Gamble drew clear and ran on strongly to win easing down at the line.
Tough sort and a terrific jumper
Although it is easy to question how strong the form is, given that it was the runner-up’s first outing after a lengthy lay-off, the manner of the victory could not have been more impressive and the front two pulled 27 lengths clear of the third home.
Top Gamble is also a really tough, bold jumping sort who may well have more to offer and his trainer has been shrewd in bypassing Cheltenham to keep him fresh for this.
Off an official rating of 159, the son of Presenting has 4lb and upwards in hand on his rivals and, granted a clear round, Top Gamble is going to be very tough to beat.
Twinlight feared most
Twinlight won the race 12 months ago and looks the obvious danger. The Willie Mullins trained nine-year-old is a useful sort when on song, but often travels strongly and finds less than expected at the business end of affairs.
The gelding also failed to sparkle in his first three starts this season, but there was much more to like about his latest effort in a Grade 2 contest at Naas when chasing home Days Hotel.
That was a big step back in the right direction, and if building on it Twinlight looks sure to go well and give Top Gamble most to think about.
Flemenstar needs to bounce back
Flemenstar showed he retained plenty of ability when winning a Grade 1 contest at Leopardstown over Christmas and would be a big player on the pick of his form.
The 11-year-old also ran well when chasing home Felix Yonger in the Tied Cottage at Leopardstown, but bombed out when last seen in action in the Ascot Chase and finishing a tailed-off sixth of eight to Silviniaco Conti.
That run was a shocking effort, and a major bounce back is now called for if Flemestar is to land the spoils in this.
Coral’s top tip: Top Gamble rates a solid bet to provide rookie trainer Kerry Lee with another big race success. Twinlight can chase him home for forecast backers.