Johns Spirit can rise to the occasion and step up to the Plate
David Metcalf | March 16, 2016
Course specialist Johns Spirit weighted to strike in Plate
Johns Spirit comes alive at Cheltenham and looks to hold outstanding claims of landing the Brown Advisory Plate on day three of the Festival (16:10).
The Jonjo O’Neill trained gelding is a three-time winner at the venue, and has also performed well at the Festival to finish fourth in the 2014 running of the Byrne Group Plate off a mark of 148 and a decent sixth in last year’s Ryanair Chase off an official rating of 160.
Johns Spirit has failed to sparkle in three runs this season, but all those have been on unsuitable heavy ground and the going has now come in his favour.
Given a big chance by the handicapper
The nine-year-old also didn’t run too badly late time out at the track when fourth to Annacotty and has since been dropped another 3lb in the weights.
John’s Spirit is now able to race off just 145, his lowest mark in over two years and 2lb less than when last victorious.
It makes the son of Gold Well dangerously well-treated on the pick of his form, and Johns Spirit has also clearly been saved for this contest and had a good record fresh.
Another plus is that he hails from a yard which does particularly well with its chasers and has already tasted success at the meeting with Minella Rocco and had Holywell finish a very good second.
Kings Palace an interesting contender
Trainer David Pipe has won three of the last six runnings of this Festival race, and has a very interesting contender in the shape of Kings Palace.
The eight-year-old was a very useful hurdler and looked e for great things when winning his first three starts over fences in terrific style.
Two of those successes came at this venue, and Kings Palace beat the now 162-rated Sausilto Sunrise with ease on each occasion.
Dropped to a dangerous mark
Although Kings Palace failed to shine in the RSA Chase at this meeting 12 months ago, and has been very disappointing in two starts this season, that has resulted in the handicapper cutting him some slack.
Having been rated as high as 156, the son of King’s Theatre is now able to race off 150.
That makes Kings Palace well-treated if bouncing back to his best, and the yard have already landed a gamble at the meeting with a similar type in the shape of Un Temps Pour Tout.
Coral’s top tip: Johns Spirit rates a solid bet to take advantage of a drop in the weights and enhance his excellent record at the venue. Kings Palace looks decent each-way value.