Vintage Star to revel in the Marsh
3.15 HAYDOCK: PETER MARSH CHASE (A Limited Handicap) (Grade 2) (3m1f)
The extremely testing conditions at Haydock today has thrown the prestigious Peter Marsh Chase into a wide open contest. Stamina will be the name of the game and there is plenty in here that have that string to their bow.
Corrin Wood and Broadway Buffalo are currently vying for favouritism in what is a very tight betting heat. The former is one of the more classy types in here and had a few of these behind when third at Wetherby last time. That was a fine performance having made most of the running and his sometimes wayward jumping was spot on which also bodes well.
The latter was one of those behind Corrin Wood at Wetherby but he absolutely loves this track and has handled heavy ground in the past. David Pipe’s charge is unbeaten in two starts here and both of those victories came on bottomless ground. He finds himself 8lbs higher in the weights since the last of those wins which may just scupper his chances slightly.
Nigel Twiston-Davies took this race with subsequent National winner Earth Summit twenty years ago and he is represented this year by the 10yo Benbens. He has been in decent form since returning this season but has yet to prove himself on very testing ground, particularly over this sort of trip.
Two time winning trainer Venetia Williams will fancy her chances with the mud loving Shangani who arrives here off of the back of a fine second at Kempton last time, whilst another two time winning trainer, Sue Smith has two strong contenders to go to war with in Vintage Star and No Planning.
No Planning is on the hat-trick hunt after wins at this track two starts ago and on his reappearance over hurdles at Wetherby last time. He has been risen a whopping 10lbs for that course victory last April but should be fit and well after his Wetherby outing and is one to consider with Callum Bewley taking 5lbs off his back.
It is Smith’s other runner that gets my vote however. Vintage Star should thrive in today’s testing conditions and is another who loves it around this place. Last year’s runner-up is 4lbs lower than 12 months ago and despite running poorly at Wetherby last time still has strong claims under Brian Hughes.
Kevin Walsh 17/1/15
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