Sunday 13 March 2016

4.35 Navan –  Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Novice Handicap Chase Final 

I’m really struggling to see why DEFINITE SOLDIER is a 20/1 shot in this race. Maybe it’s due to his trainer Philip Rothwell being out of form and the ground at Navan probably being too soft to show his best with the trip also a question mark, but even so, 20/1 is certainly too big a price and I’m willing to back him at those odds in what is a truly uninspiring and open contest for great prize money.

A horse with a useful pedigree, he fell in his only point-to-point start when still in contention before running over hurdles for trainer Peter Crook. The son of Definte Article has since switched to Philip Rothwell’s, he did so last November, but not before winning a maiden hurdle at the stamina-demanding track of Hexam on decent ground over three miles.

The seven-year-old has now had four starts for Rothwell, two over hurdles and two over fences, and it was on his first chase start he really caught the eye. Last time out at Clonmel, he ran a fine race to finish fourth, not far behind a useful horse.

For such a low-grade novice, he jumped well in the main and shaped as if chasing would really improve him.

He now goes into a handicap chase for the first time off a workable mark. His jockey, Andrew Ring, takes a further 5lb off which will help with him going the longer trip in testing ground.

He may not stay as he is exhuberant and the ground may be too soft to allow him to show his best, but at 20/1 he’s certainly worth an each-way bet in an open race. Hopefully all eight declared horses run for full place terms.


1pt each-way Definite Soldier @20/1 (Bet Victor, bet365, Ladbrokes, Sky Bet)


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