Grade One Scilly Isles Novices' Chase Guide

Sandown - February 06 2021
Sandown 13:50
3
Harry Skelton

Shan Blue

J:
 
Harry Skelton
T:
 
Dan Skelton
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 152
Days: 42

Having been a fair hurdler, this season he has taken his form to the next level by making his chase debut at Wetherby in October over 2m4f and winning by 14 lengths.

Off the back of that he went back to Wetherby and was stepped up to three miles for the first time in his career and he went on again to win by 16 lengths.

He showed clear stamina that day and his biggest asset is how well he jumps a fence, which made the Skelton's happy enough to send him to Kempton for the Grade On Kauto Star Novices' Chase.

He took on some nice horses including The Big Breakaway and blew them away in the final stages, jumping his rivals into submission.

He heads into this event on Sunday looking to land back to back Grade One events and although over a smaller trip should show his versatility.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/04/21AIN25GS11-42
18/03/21CHL20GS11-45
06/02/21SAN20Hy11-42
26/12/20KEM24GS11-71
30/10/20WET24GS11-101
Sandown - February 06 2021
Sandown 13:50
6
Harry Cobden

Hitman

J:
 
Harry Cobden
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 5
Weight: 11-1
OR: 151
Days: 63

Hitman for Paul Nicholls looks a stand out runner in the race having moved over from France this season and looks a seriously smart recruit for the yard.

Having ran respectably over hurdles in France the son of Falco made his British/chase debut at Ffos Las in November in very tricky conditions.

The four year old took every fence in his stride, getting better as the race went on and went on to win the event by an eased down 30 lengths.

That performance was highly impressive and he looked to prove he was a Grade One horse in the making next time out at Sandown when being entered into the Henry VIII Novices' Chase.

Having a big reputation the yard thought he had a big chance but on the day had to settle for second behind the impressive Allmankind, who landed the event in good style.

Hitman was a worthy runner up and that Grade One form over fences looks to be some of the best in the field, if being able to convert it over an extra four furlongs.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/03/21NBY20Gd11-31
06/02/21SAN20Hy11-1F
05/12/20SAN15.5Sft10-102
08/11/20FFO16Sft10-71
22/01/20PAU16.5VSft9-131
Sandown - February 06 2021
Sandown 13:50
1
Daryl Jacob

Messire Des Obeaux

J:
 
Daryl Jacob
T:
 
Alan King
Age: 9
Weight: 11-4
OR: 152
Days: 28

Alan King's nine year old Messire Des Obeuax has been rejuvenated over fences this term taking out the Grade Two Dipper Novices' Chase at Wincanton last time out.

Messire Des Obeaux was a horse with bags of potential back in 2016/17 over hurdles winning the Grade Two Winter Novices Hurdle at Sandown and then backing that up at Newbury with the Grade One Challow Novices' Hurdle.

He then went to the Cheltenham festival in 2017 where he finished a good third behind Willoughby Court and Neon Wolf in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle.

The gelding was a horse with a huge future but was not seen for almost three years after picking up a sequence of injuries and returned in February at Huntingdon when finishing a fair fourth after so long off.

King decided to send him chasing and he made his return at Wincanton on debut and he managed to get off the mark in a decent Handicap Chase over 2m4f.

Going back to Wincanton last time out he was a superb and slightly shock winner of the Dipper that was rearranged and now stepping up to Grade One company should be a live contender, with this his big aim for the season.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/02/21SAN20Hy11-44
09/01/21WCN20GS11-01
15/12/20WCN20Sft11-81
06/02/20HUN19.5GS11-84
08/04/17AIN20Gd11-43
Sandown - February 06 2021
Sandown 13:50
7
Nico de Boinville

Dame De Compagnie

J:
 
Nico de Boinville
T:
 
Nicky Henderson
Age: 8
Weight: 10-11
OR: 148
Days: 19

The eight year old for owner JP McManus has been exceptional over the last 12 months, landing a Mares Handicap at Cheltenham back in December 2019 and off the back of that going to the festival and landing the Coral Cup with ease.

The mare was always bought to be a chaser and Henderson sent her to Ayr on Monday for her belated seasonal return and first try over fences and apart from one mistake on the first circuit she was superb.

She saw off Fighting Fifth winner Cornerstone Lad with ease over two miles, but the trainer admitted she wants another half a mile to be at her best.

She gets that on Saturday in this event and although being slightly chucked in at the deep end going into a Grade One on just her second start over fences, she is a highly talented horse that will be getting weight off the field.

Sandown - February 06 2021
Sandown 13:50
2
Connor Brace

Paint The Dream

J:
 
Connor Brace
T:
 
Fergal O'Brien
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 147
Days: 39

Paint The Dream for Fergal O'Brien has been a rejuvenated character over fences this season and it shows being pitched into a Grade One with reasonable place claims.

This season the gelding has been highly consistent Running a fair race on debut behind the smart Grand Sancy and then backing that up with another good second at Stratford behind Happygolucky for Kim Bailey who went on to frank the form.

He then went to Cheltenham in a hot Novices' Chase and was outclassed by Protektorat who has been superb over fences this year.

However, last time out he gave a career best performance at Newbury when landing a fiercely competitive staying Limited Handicap Chase by close to eight lengths.

He deserves his chance in this race off the back of that performance but does look like three miles would suit better.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/02/21SAN20Hy11-43
29/12/20NBY22.5Sft10-81
13/11/20CHL20GS11-23
29/10/20STR21GS11-12
10/10/20CHP19.5Gd11-22
Sandown - February 06 2021
Sandown 13:50
4
Richard Johnson

Sporting John

J:
 
Richard Johnson
T:
 
Philip Hobbs
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: 149
Days: 87

This six year old was a smart hurdles prospect and looked to have a big future after landing a decent point to point over in Ireland and from that was bought by JP McManus.

Last season he was sent hurdling and on his debut at Exeter he went on to score in great fashion with the form being massively franked from that race with the second place going on to win a Grade Two and third, fourth and fifth also going on to win since.

He was lightly campaigned during the term and before the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle only ran twice more, which came at Exeter again where he bolted up in a Novices Hurdle and he then stepped up to a better contest at Ascot taking Master Debonair to the cleaners.

It was all systems go to the festival where overall when taking on proven Grade One winners he was outclassed and since then has been sent chasing.

Much was expected from the gelding on chase debut at Exeter, but unfortunately he could only finish a weak third of sixth behind Fiddlerontheroof and Silver Hallmark.

He will need to be much better than that stepping into a Grade One, but should improve for his first run of the season and the form of his debut has worked out quite well.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/04/21AIN25GS11-4P
17/03/21CHL24.5GS11-4F
06/02/21SAN20Hy11-41
11/11/20EXE19GS11-23
11/03/20CHL21Sft11-77
Sandown - February 06 2021
Sandown 13:50
5
James Davies

Up The Straight

J:
 
James Davies
T:
 
Richard Rowe
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 135
Days: 23

The final runner in the event is the Richard Rowe trained Up The Straight who is the big 40/1 outsider and from what he has done over fences is opposable.

The gelding was an average hurdles horse that was hoping to be better over fences and although being consistent in lesser events does not look worthy of being pitched into this event.

Having finished third over hurdles in October in a decent Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham, he was stepped over fences and was a long way second behind Chantry House in a three runner event.

He then went to Plumpton in a weak Novices' Chase and unseated his rider and last time out was second of four runners in another poor Novices' Chase at Fontwell with the gelding being last of the finishers.

This Grade One is extremely hot and he looks slightly out of his depth and may be better in handicap events in the future

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
13/03/21SAN20Sft11-12
06/02/21SAN20Hy11-45
14/01/21FON19.5Hy10-122
03/01/21PLU20Sft10-12UR
20/11/20ASC19Sft11-12

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