George hopes festival second can go one better
Unicoin Group Handicap Chase | Grade 3 | 3m2f | 4yo+ | CH4/RUK
A Good Skin returns to the scene of his Festival second to Cause Of Causes in the Kim Muir with trainer Tom George expecting a big run.
A novice winner on similar ground here in April 2015, the seven-year-old is only a pound higher than at the Festival and is one of the least exposed members of the field.
Paul Nicholls feels the handicapper has been very harsh in raising Southfield Theatre 7lb for his unlucky fall at the last in the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton, where he was a couple of lengths clear.
However, Racing Post Ratings suggest he was in the process of running a career best, and he is very much at home at Cheltenham – having been second to Don Poli in the RSA Chase here in 2015 and to Fingal Bay in the Pertemps Final the year before.
Mon Mome took this race in his Grand National winning season, and Monbeg Dude won here on his last outing before his Welsh National success.
Stick with the obvious
Six of the last ten winners have gone off at 6-1 or shorter. The longest-priced was 16-1.
What they say
Philip Hobbs, trainer of Sausalito Sunrise
I think it was just a case of needing the run and nothing to do with losing a shoe when he was well beaten on his reappearance. He's been in very good form since and he goes very well at Cheltenham, so there are plenty of positives.
David Pipe, trainer of Ballynagour
He's not getting any younger and he was disappointing last time, but he won't mind the trip or the ground.
Paul Nicholls, trainer of Southfield Theatre
I thought it was very harsh of the handicapper to put him up 7lb for falling and, in my opinion, he has it all to do as he's back on the highest mark he was on before getting injured.
Colin Tizzard, trainer of Theatre Guide and Bally Longford
Theatre Guide was bang there two out in the Hennessy but didn't quite stay on. He came back fresh and this is nothing like as strong a race, so we thought we would have another go. He'll win one of these one day. Bally Longford takes a big step up in distance after finishing third over 2m at the last meeting, but he's been two and a half before and he shapes like a stayer to me.
Fergal O'Brien, trainer of Perfect Candidate
He was a little disappointing at Bangor last time but the ground was soft enough for him there and the better ground will help. He has the cheekpieces on to give him a bit of encouragement and he didn't run badly at Cheltenham last season.
Kim Bailey, trainer of Un Ace
He's probably too high in the handicap still, but taking off 7lb could help.
Tom George, trainer of A Good Skin
I don't think Ascot suited him at all. He has good form round Cheltenham, having been second in the Kim Muir, and he is still a young horse so should have more to come.
Nigel Twiston-Davies, trainer of Cogry
He has an awful lot of writing next to his name and must be the unluckiest horse in the country. He has schooled really well since last weekend and hopefully his luck will change.