Now may be the time to act with regards backing OSCAR KNIGHT for the lucrative Paddy Power Steeplechase at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting. With €110,000 on offer to the winner, it’s a race many owners and trainers will be taking aim at, and I’m sure JP McManus and Tom Mullins are high on that list with this eight-year-old.
The former name needs no introduction while the latter is a trainer I have great belief in when he sets his mind on a target with a horse. His exploits with Alderwood case and point.
The selection was an excellent third in this very race last season despite not having a trouble free run. He was badly hampered as the race was just starting to unfold down the far side, but to his credit, he made relentless headway before they turned in, and he remarkably even led jumping the last.
He was outstayed close home by two other horses, his run petering out having made such a big move to get competitive, but it was still a fine run. He returns this year 6lb higher, but given he’s still a relatively light-raced eight-year-old, that rise is not a big concern.
A more pressing worry would be his jumping – he can be slow in parts. Hopefully Barry Geraghty or Mark Walsh take the ride as their experience could prove vital in hunting him round.
The son of Oscar comes into the race in good order on the back of two hurdle runs, the second of which he won. For me, that was a strong race for the grade. I just hope he can transfer that form over fences, I see no reason why he can’t.
It’s possible he goes off a fair bit shorter than the currently available 12/1.Hopefully we grab the early value and bag a nice Festive winner. Ho ho ho.
1.5pts each-way Oscar Knight @12/1 (Bet Victor, bet365, StanJames, William Hill)