Racing: Real prospect for feast after the fast
The former top jump jockey Steve Smith Eccles analyses today's Victor Chandler Chase
Saturday 16 January 1999
Celibate: The amateur rider Noel Fehily is good value for his 7lb claim but Celibate is not exactly a potent threat. He was trounced 11 lengths by the likely favourite Get Real over course and distance last time and has plenty to find, even with an 8lb pull in the weights.
Hill Society: The testing ground is a worry for this Irish raider who delighted his trainer, Noel Meade, in a midweek spin and is the mount of the very experienced Richard Dunwoody.
Flying Instructor: Always runs a genuine race but is a little one-paced. He would almost certainly be better suited by an extra half-mile.
Lord Dorcet: A capable performer on his day, but unlikely to trouble the major players on the evidence of his current form.
Cumbrian Challenge: Won the Castleford Chase at Wetherby last time out and reported to be in good form at home. Another one for the short-list.
Monnaie Forte: Subject of an ante-post nibble in the week but does not have the benefit of a previous run this season. Nevertheless, this useful chaser has a decent chance off a light weight.
Manhattan Castle: This Irish challenger has been a fair horse in his time but is up against it now.
Get Real: The likeliest favourite after impressing punters with a superb fencing exhibition over course and distance last time. Get Real is slightly out of the handicap proper, but his stable is in cracking form.
Conclusion: Even with an 8lb pull, Celibate still has about three lengths to make up on the ante-post favourite GET REAL, who has an outstanding chance at the weights. Mick Fitzgerald has been fasting to avoid putting up overweight and should be rewarded with another big-race scalp. Celibate is sure to be thereabouts, while the Irish raider, Hill Society, looks booked for the minor placing.
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