Taunton preview: Hat-trick beckons for Modus
David Metcalf | December 30, 2015
Modus has looked a top notch prospect in winning both his starts over the obstacles, so can make his class tell to give weight all-round and land the hat-trick in the 2m 3f novices’ hurdle at Taunton today (13.45).
The gelding has some very smart bumper form to his name when trained by Robert Stephens, finishing second to Moon Racer at the Cheltenham Festival and a cracking third to Bellshill in a Grade 1 contest at Punchestown.
Modus was purchased by leading Irish owner JP McManus after those efforts and sent to champion trainer Paul Nicholls.
The five-year-old then opened his account for the Ditcheat handler at the first time of asking when easily landing a 2m 1f novice hurdle at this venue last month.
Modus makes moves around Taunton track
After racing keenly in midfield, Modus made smooth headway at the sixth to challenge two from home and after being shaken-up approaching the last quickened effortlessly clear on the run-in to score with tons more in hand than the 3 3/4 length winning margin suggests.
Modus backed that up with a neck success over Charmix at Newbury, where he was given another confident ride by Barry Geraghty and scored with plenty up his sleeve.
Judged on the manner of those successes, Modus looks an ideal type for the 2016 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, and he is currently 16/1 with Coral for that contest.
If Modus is to be a serious Supreme contender he should be capable of giving 10lb to this field and, with Geraghty once again in the saddle, is going to take the world of beating.
Cash in on Triple Chief
In the 2m handicap hurdle that opens proceedings (12.40), Triple Chief can take advantage of a drop in class to open his account.
The Chris Gordon trained gelding is yet to get his head in front in seven starts over hurdles but has run well to make the frame on several occasions.
They include a 2 1/4 length third of 13 to Ascendent in a class 3 contest at Ludlow off a mark of 113, and Triple Chief is now able to race in this lower grade class 5 affair off just 100.
That gives the five-year-old a big shout at the weights, and Triple Chief comes into the race having caught the eye last time out when seventh of 17 to Canadian Diamond over course and distance.
The son of High Chaparral travelled well for much of the contest before staying on to be beaten just over 15 lengths without being unduly knocked about, and if building on that looks a major player in this grade.
12.40: Triple Chief (NB)
13.10: Double Accord
13.45: Modus (NAP)
14.50: Lifeboat Mona
15.25: Same Difference
15.55: Full Blast