# Whip Hand
Nacarat out to avenge last year’s defeat
Tom George’s charge will be there or there abouts today.

NACARAT’S LOVE AFFAIR with the Racing Post Chase could be extended this afternoon. Having won the 2009 renewal in fine style; Tom George’s charge went down by a neck last term. And there’s no reason to think that he won’t be there or thereabouts come the business end again today.

Primed and Ready

Now rated 156, the grey is two pounds lower than his mark in the race last term. Although he is unlikely to be improving at the tender age of 10, Nacarat still seems to be performing at a high level. Since his last run in the King George at the same track, where he finished a respectable fourth behind Long Run, he has had a breathing operation. This, combined with a first time tongue tie, could give him a boost and enable him to finish out his races slightly better.

Currently available at 6/1 with a number of firms, the mount of Paddy Brennan has a lot in his favour. He clearly loves the track, and is on a very realistic mark. He is undoubtedly the class horse of the field, having twice placed at Grade One level, and is likely to have been geared towards this race for some time. It would be a minor surprise were the grey not to place.

The Paul Nicholls-trained Fistral Beach is likely to go off as favourite, especially with the booking of champion jockey AP McCoy. He started at 100/30 for this event last term off a four pound lower mark, but unseated his rider. He possesses a fair degree of talent, but the long list of twos and threes next to his name tells its own story. In his 13 runs he has started as favourite twelve times, but won only three of these.  He is not one to rely on, but has a great chance if things fall right for him. He’s clearly not the most straightforward of rides, and at a similar price to Nacarat he seems a riskier proposition.

His stable mate Free World may be worth a look at huge odds. He is another that is something of an enigma, but his nine length second to Riverside Theatre over at Kempton over two and a half miles reads very well now given what that horse has achieved since, and if the step up in trip happens to suit the 40/1 currently available may seem mammoth.

Duff Man

On the all-weather in Lingfield Edward Lynam’s stalwart Duff (no relation to the footballer) takes his place in the Cleves Stakes listed race over six furlongs. As the highest rated horse in the field the gelding has an outstanding chance. At eight years of age time may well be catching up on him though, and it may pay to side with the relative whipper-snapper that is Angel Pursuit. Richard Hannon’s inmate won at this level on the grass last summer, and if he can recreate that form here he would have great claims.

The field is mainly composed of the usual suspects of exposed handicappers, and Angel Pursuit may still have a small amount of improvement to come. It’s worth nothing that his trainer has sent out seven winners from his last fourteen winners.


Nacarat looks to be a solid each way bet at 6/1 considering the top four pay out. He loves this race, and there is no obvious reason to think that he has disimproved form the animal that thrived on the last two occasions. At the same price, Angel Pursuit could give Richard Hannon yet another winner in a very hot streak.