Modus set to confirm chase promise – Wincanton 11/11/2017
The Cheltenham Festival is still four months away but it is already in the plans for Modus ahead of Saturday's run at Wincanton.
Nicholls chaser has Cheltenham Festival target
Paul Nicholls trains the seven-year-old gelding who was second in the Champion Bumper at the festival in 2015. In March this year he made his fourth consecutive appearance at the meeting when sixth in the Coral Cup.
Modus has won six of his eighteen races and made his debut over fences at Bangor-on-Dee last month. He made short work of his two rivals, easing home by five lengths from Midnight Target. He jumped a little hesitantly in the early stages but warmed to his task. Last season he won the valuable Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton off a rating of 145. He was subsequently raised to 156 for the County Hurdle. If he can reach a similar mark over fences he will certainly be heading for Cheltenham in the spring.
His market rival at Wincanton is Kalondra, a six-year-old gelding trained by Neil Mulholland. He is by Spadoun out of Mystic Vic by Old Vic and has won five of his sixteen races. He finished behind Modus in the Lanzarote when rated 135 over hurdles. The gap between the two horses is likely to be a lot smaller over fences, judged by an easy chasing debut win for Kalondra. He beat Ballycrystal at Sedgefield without being asked a serious question by Tom Scudamore. Neither of the two market leaders are natural front-runners so it could develop into a game of “cat and mouse” between the two riders.
Valhalla may set pace at Wincanton
It may be left to the outsider Valhalla to set the pace for Colin Tizzard and Harry Cobden. The seven-year-old is rated inferior to both horses on hurdles form and has yet to win in three races over fences.
He finished seventh at Newbury last season and has been placed at both Stratford and Ludlow this winter. On his most recent start he finished over fourteen lengths away in third behind Darebin. He has raced prominently in the past, notably when making all to win at Taunton in March. Cobden is very likely to set off in front here and hope that his rivals make mistakes. It is a Grade 2 Chase so there is decent money for completing in third place.
Wincanton Betting Tips 11/11/2017
2.25 Modus @1.90 Betfair