Ladbrokes Grade One Champion Chase Guide 2021

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Down Royal - October 29 2021
Down Royal 13:50
4
Rachael Blackmore

Minella Indo

J:
 
Rachael Blackmore
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 8
Weight: 11-12
OR: 175
Days: 225

The eight year old has raced 14 times during his career and has only finished outside the top three in his on two occasions.

Three seasons ago on his final two starts over hurdles he really came to life landing the Grade One Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham festival at a huge price of 50/1 and then backed that up at the Punchestown festival when landing another classy Grade One.

He went novice chasing and after running well on debut behind star mare Laurina, he landed a Beginners Chase at Navan before narrowly being beaten in the RSA Novices' Chase at the festival, With Champ pipping him on the line.

Coming out of novice company last term he started his season off at Wexford at the back end of October in the Grade Three Memorial Chase where he jumped the field into submission, going on to win the event by 25 lengths.

Having again put up another superb performance at Navan when beating Brahma Bull by close to eight lengths, his handler sent him to Leopardstown at Christmas in the Grade One Savills Chase.

Going off as favourite, many were looking for the gelding to put up a big run, but were left wanting more after falling for the first time in his career with a circuit to go.

He was then seen returning to some sort of form by finishing his race, but overall he was outclassed in the Irish Gold Cup behind Kemboy finishing a well beaten fourth.

This saw his price drift for the Cheltenham Gold Cup but under a masterful ride by Jack Kennedy he bounced back to form in a big way to land the Grade One feature.

Showing he goes well fresh and holding leading form, he could be tough to beat on Saturday.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
19/03/21CHL26.5GS11-101
07/02/21LEO24.5Sft11-124
28/12/20LEO24Y11-12F
22/11/20NAV24Sft11-101
26/10/20WEX23Sft11-21
Down Royal - October 29 2021
Down Royal 13:50
3
Mr J J Codd

Galvin

J:
 
Mr J J Codd
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: 159
Days: 17

The seven year old moved from Gordon Elliott to Ian Ferguson before the Cheltenham festival and with the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham festival being the aim all year long, they stuck with the plan.

The market moved around frequently before the race with Royal Pagaille taken out and horses like Next Destination and Escaria Ten added to the race to take on Galvin.

Having finished second at the 2020 Cheltenham festival behind Imperial Aura in the 2m4f Novices' Handicap, he went into the meeting having only run once since that second and it saw him get back to winning ways at Cheltenham over three miles.

Not being seeing since that run and being waited on at home, he gave a superb performance under a great ride by Jack Kennedy to sneak up the inside rail and take the event in the final stages.

Put away again for the rest of the season, he returned this term over three miles, back under the care of Gordon Elliott and won well in a Grade Three event at Punchestown.

That would have bought him on a lot for this event and with the big marathon trip events on his agenda this term, he will need to be going close in this.

Player.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
13/10/21PUN24Gd11-101
16/03/21CHL30GS11-61
23/10/20CHL24.5Gd11-81
04/10/20TIP20Gd11-71
22/08/20KLN21Y11-101
Down Royal - October 29 2021
Down Royal 13:50
2
Bryony Frost

Frodon

J:
 
Bryony Frost
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 9
Weight: 11-12
OR: 167
Days: 189

Frodon has been a superstar for the 12 time champion trainer Paul Nicholls winning some huge races including the Old Roan Chase at Aintree and the Ryanair Chase at the 2019 Cheltenham festival.

Stepped up to 3m1f in October the gelding landed the competitive Handicap Chase off top weight at Prestbury Park.

He produced a superb round off jumping giving weight away to the whole field, but last time out stepped back up in Class for the Grade two Many Clouds Chase and was well below par.

There were plenty of fences removed that day which did not suit him, but last time out he gave one of the performances of the season when winning the Grade One King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

He went from the front and gave an expert round of jumping and tried to do the same in the Gold Cup but ultimately faded late one behind the Irish contingent.

Back in a small field and slightly down in trip for his final start of last season in the Grade Two Oaksey Chase saw him get back to winning ways in a superb contest.

Nicholls has explained he is fit and ready for this event and having gone well fresh in most of his seasons, he looks the value at 5/1, with the Down Royal track set to suit.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
24/04/21SAN23Gd11-61
19/03/21CHL26.5GS11-105
26/12/20KEM24GS11-101
05/12/20AIN25Sft11-64
24/10/20CHL25Gd11-121
Down Royal - October 29 2021
Down Royal 13:50
1
Jack Kennedy

Delta Work

J:
 
Jack Kennedy
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
Age: 8
Weight: 11-12
OR: 163
Days: 265

In the 2019/20 season Delta Work finished fourth on seasonal debut in this Grade One, but from that the Gordon Elliott trained seven year old went on to land back to back Grade One races at Leopardstown over three miles.

He managed to land the superb Savills Chase and then backed that up at Christmas when taking the Irish Gold Cup under a stellar ride by Jack Kennedy.

Having franked the form of the RSA three seasons before, he tried his hand at the Gold Cup and although running a fair race never troubled the leaders.

Last season the gelding started off again at Down Royal and although finishing a worser fifth, was closer to the winner in distance, which was pleasing for the yard.

He used that run to head to the Savills Chase where he took the usual Irish suspects at this level, but unfortunately with a long way to go in the race unshipped rider Sean Flanagan.

Delta Work was last seen in February finishing third of five in the Grade One Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing festival.

Since then he picked up an injury setback and will need a huge performance to see off some of these.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
07/02/21LEO24.5Sft11-123
28/12/20LEO24Y11-12UR
31/10/20DRO24Y11-125
13/03/20CHL26.5GS11-105
02/02/20LEO24Y11-101
Down Royal - October 29 2021
Down Royal 13:50
5
Denis O'Regan

Ravenhill

J:
 
Denis O'Regan
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
Age: 11
Weight: 11-12
OR: 149
Days: 342

At a huge price for the event is the Gordon Elliott trained Ravenhill who does not look in the same class as these proven Grade One performers.

Not seen since November 2020, the Cheltenham festival winner has tried it at the top level, finishing eighth of nine runners in this event last year and then in other Grade Two and Three events, still struggling.

The best performance of his career came when landing the National Hunt Chase at the 2020 Cheltenham festival, but since then has been lacking quality.

Opposed.

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