Tip Of The Day: Say yes to Blueyes
An intruiging renewal of the Chatteris Fen Hurdle at Huntingdon seems to have beaten the weather – but what does our man Will Hayler fancy?
Master Blueyes (left) in action in the Melrose Stakes at York last summer.
Three interesting runners dominate the market for the Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle at Huntingdon today and it's a race worth giving some closer examination.
Heading the betting is Divin Bere, a horse who was briefly in training with Paul Nicholls earlier this season and even given an entry for the Welsh Champion Hurdle at the start of the campaign. For reasons unclear, Chris Giles then transferred him to Nicky Henderson.
I've watched a video of his success at Lyon, which was reasonably impressive, but the form of that contest doesn't seem to have worked out at all. He then finished second to subsequent Listed winner On The Go at Auteuil, but again the horses that finished behind haven't done much to frank the form subsequently.
More concerningly, if you're thinking of backing him, is that many of Henderson's French imports – Charli Parcs aside – seem to have been left a gallop or two short for their British debuts this season. Furthermore, in the only quote I can find about the horse online, Henderson says of Divin Bere that "he is a horse I really like but we are going to take our time with him a little bit because he’s a slightly unfurnished and needs looking after".
It's not a lot to go on, but I wonder whether today will be about getting some experience into the favourite. He certainly has the appearance of a future chaser. I'm taking him on.
Those as antiquated as me will know that Gary Moore has always sent his best hurdlers to Huntingdon. The ill-fated Chris Pea Green won this race a few years ago, as did a very nice horse he trained some 20 years ago called Adopted Hero. I could have sworn he also won it with something else in the colours of Ken Higson, but my mind is probably playing tricks on me. The fact he saddles Templier here says plenty about the respect in which he holds the ex-Mark Johnston horse.
But I'll stick with Master Blueyes, who took a definite step forward from his hurdling debut when chasing home Charli Parcs at Kempton, steadily eating into the winner's advantage from the home turn without ever looking really likely to get to him.
He jumped better there and has stacks of solid Flat form to suggest that the initial handicap mark of 120 he has been given is very fair. I suspect trainer Alan King's plan will be for him to run well enough here to go up a few pounds and get into the line-up for the Fred Winter, in which he might just take a hand.
With fitness and experience on his side, I can see him proving too good for his rivals and the weight allowance he receives from the favourite only serves to cement my conviction.
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