The Dark Horse previews the opening race at Newbury on Friday and has a strong selection in the shape of ex-French trained Paul Nicholls three year old, Copain De Classe.
2 point win Copain De Classe at 9-4 with Bet365 and Stan James
Paul Nicholls won has the last 2 renewals of this juvenile hurdle and he looks to make it a hat trick this year with Copain De Classe.
He won on his only start in an AQPS flat race at Vichy when trained by Augustin Adeline de Boisbrunet. Very slowly away from the stalls, he soon recovered to race in 6th position early on and remained in that position for much of the race off a slow pace. When the pace increased significantly early in the straight, he showed a very smart turn of foot to quickly move to the front and maintained that position to the line. He did tire a bit late on but that’s understandable given the effort that it would have taken to make such a significant move into a quickening pace early in the straight.
The runner up, Cash Machine, hacked up next time at Les Sables d’Olonne by 8½ lengths, while the 3rd and 4th have since been bought to join Paul Nicholls and Willie Mullins respectively. The 5th, Chacun Sa Route, won 2 starts later and the 7th, Cusco Des Mottes, has finished 2nd in all 3 starts since.
That was a very good performance on debut from a horse that physically looks a long term prospect. There is the unknown over how he will take to hurdles and a longer trip but one would be hopeful of neither of those being an issue for him.
Looking at the main dangers, Ardamir was very green on debut when tailed off at Auteuil and has improved significantly on that on his subsequent two outings. He can improve further from that decent level of form but a 10lb penalty won’t make it easy for him. Kasakh Noir contested two staying flat races in France. He was chinned close home on debut before winning a very weak race with ease at Argentan. Darebin looks the strongest challenger of those seen over hurdles or on the flat in the UK following his Sandown victory but that didn’t look an overly strong race.
Copain De Classe looked a potentially smart prospect at Vichy and I think he should be 6-4, so he looks a good bet at 9-4 to give Paul Nicholls another winner in this race.
Recap - Advised Bet
2 points win Copain De Classe at 9-4 with Bet365 and StanJames