Haydock preview: Ginge ready to cause a Splash
David Metcalf | January 22, 2016
Splash Of Ginge will relish the testing conditions at Haydock and looks decent each-way value in a competitive and wide-open renewal of the Peter Marsh Chase (15.15).
The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained gelding developed into a very smart performer over hurdles in 2014, showing tremendous battling qualities to land one of the most competitive handicaps in the calendar at Newbury before rounding off the campaign with a fine second to Lac Fontana in a Grade 1 contest at Aintree.
However, connections always believed that anything he achieved over hurdle would be a bonus and his real future lay over the larger obstacles.
Splash Of Ginge has gone on to land two of his 10 starts over fences, and in the last of those at Cheltenham 12 months ago stayed on strongly to easily land a hot class 1 handicap by 3 1/2 lengths off a mark of 145.
The eight-year-old got put up to 153 for that victory, and things haven’t gone to plan in six subsequent outings.
Returning to form
However, Splash Of Ginge hinted at a return to form when seventh of 20 to Annacotty in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on his penultimate outing, and was still travelling well and in contention last time out when coming to grief at the 17th in the valuable Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.
The handicapper has since dropped Splash of Ginge 3lb to a mark of 146, just 1lb higher than when last successful.
That gives Splash Of Ginge major claims from a handicapping perspective, and with Ryan Hatch in the saddle taking off 3lb with his claim the son of Oscar looks weighted to run a huge race.
Reve De Sivola a fascinating contender
Reve De Sivola is a very smart hurdler who is potentially thrown-in at the weights now having his attention switched back to chasing and looks a massive danger.
The Nick Williams trained 11-year-old has not run over fences since finishing third at Ascot back in December 2011, but has since developed into one of the best and most popular staying hurdlers in the country to be officially rated 150.
Reve De Sivola is able to race off a chase mark of just 139, and that makes the multiple Grade 1 winner dangerously well-treated.
He also comes into the race on the back of a fine second to World Hurdle favourite Thistlecrack in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot, and if putting in a clear round looks sure to be involved at the finish.
The New One impossible to oppose in Champion Hurdle Trial
The New One bids for back-to-back successes in the Champion Hurdle Trial (14.40), and looks a worthy odds-on favourite to land the spoils after main rival Peace And Co was ruled out of the race.
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge is a top class performer who finished an unlucky in-running third to Jezki in the 2014 Champion Hurdle, and looked as good as ever when winning his first four starts last season.
They included a battling success in this race on bottomless ground, and although The New One could then finish only fifth an 8 3/4 length fifth to Faugheen in the the Champion Hurdle he raced far too keenly and made several mistakes before weakening late on.
There is little doubt in my mind that he is far better than that, and The New One made a pleasing winning return to action at Kempton before chasing home Faugheen in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle at the same venue when last seen in action.
This represents a big drop in class and it will be a major surprise if The New One, who is currently with 20/1 Coral for this year’s Champion Hurdle, doesn’t get the job done with the minimum of fuss.
Black the one to back for forecast
With Meledoc Rendezvous looking a shadow of his former self, the ultra-tough Rayvin Black looks the one to chase home The New One.
The Oliver Sherwood trained gelding had Melodic back in third when showing a tremendous attitude to land a competitive handicap hurdle at Sandown for a second year running last time out, and is a bold front runner who revels in the mud.
This does represent a step up in class, but Rayvin Black is sure to give it his best shot and will keeping on galloping when others have cried enough.
Coral’s top tips
The New One looks will have the Champion Hurdle Trial at his mercy, and Rayvin Black appeals as the one for the forecast backers.