Goodtoknow can boost the bank
GOODTOKNOW should be well suited to conditions in the Bathwick Tyres Handicap Chase at Taunton on the eve of the Cheltenham Festival.
The Kerry Lee-trained gelding has a likeable profile over fences, having finished in the first three on nine of his 15 chase starts. The eight-year-old devoured testing conditions when bolting up at Wetherby last month, after which connections described him as a “slow horse, who needs slow ground”.
While that comment may on the face of it sound less than complimentary, it actually suggests he is an ideal candidate for his latest assignment, with the three-and-a-half-mile distance and the heavy ground likely to bring out the best in him. He is on a career-high mark, but is not totally exposed and a bold bid looks assured for a trainer enjoying a fantastic debut season.
The main event of the afternoon over the smaller obstacles is the Bathwick Tyres Taunton Handicap Hurdle, in which Konig Dax is an interesting runner. One of the many horses to leave Donald McCain for pastures new in the summer, his French form is startling to say the least.
In May 2014 he won by five lengths at Saint-Malo in France from none other than superstar-in-waiting Douvan. Much was expected on his British debut for McCain at Catterick in January 2015 but something obviously went wrong as he was tailed-off and hasn’t been seen since. Now with David Pipe, off a lowly rating of 118 it will be fascinating to see how he gets on.
Gary Moore has suffered wretched misfortune with his Cheltenham hopes this season but can at least begin the week in the best possible fashion with Agincourt Reef in the Cheltenham Price Boosts At attheraces.com/topoffers Handicap Chase.
Moore was forced to rule out Ar Mad from the Arkle, the best two-mile novice chaser in Britain, Violet Dancer sadly had to be put down after winning a Grade Two and the promising Traffic Fluide also misses the big meeting.
Agincourt Reef runs in the same colours as Ar Mad and while the prize money and prestige does not compare, it will at least give connections a spring in their step. First-time visors helped him win at Taunton last time out and the opposition does not look much sterner here.
IRISH NEWS YANKEE
Nap: Goodtoknow (3.55pm, Taunton)
Double: Konig Dax (4.25pm, Taunton)
Treble: Agincourt Reef (3.15pm, Plumpton)
Yankee: Tennis Cap (4.05pm, Cork)