View Full Version : Hinterland Nicholls Arkle Contender

12-10-2013, 10:49 AM
Will get more later but worthy of a thread

Oddschecker Blog

The purpose of Grade 1s and the pattern more widely is to encourage the best horses in the division to take each other on in those races. Until last season there hadn't been a Grade 1 for 2m novice chasers until the Festival. The Henry VIII at Sandown, (2m, good), now has that status and it was great to see plenty of the best British novices line up. It turned into a duel with Hinterland just holding the fast finishing Grandouet by a neck. Hinterland is a young horse who's improved out of all recognition compared to his unsuccessful novice chase campaign last season. He has a turn of foot and at this stage deserves to be rated the most likely British winner of the Arkle but he's 14/1 and the runner up is 12/1. There's likely to be little between them again in March but whether they're up to beating the best of the Irish novices isn't clear.

12-10-2013, 10:53 AM

Hinterland is a second-season novice and enjoying the benefit of his experience. He confirmed the impression that he had Grandouet's measure (before the latter fell on their previous encounter) with victory in last Saturday's Henry VIII Novices' Chase.

He jumps in a low and efficient manner that mostly convinces as sound. In fact, it was his willingness to have a cut at his fences, especially at the last, which proved the difference between him and Grandouet, who was safe and a touch ponderous.

The runner-up was coming back as the line approached and clearly retains a lot of raw ability. You wonder whether things may take a while truly to click for Grandouet over fences, if they ever do, compared with his best hurdles form. Paradoxically, given he loses rather than gains ground at his fences, the final Cheltenham hill - the same one that many have wondered whether he truly gets up - will be his friend at the end of the Arkle, helping him to claw back lost ground.....but probably too late.

Hinterland's time was quicker than Sire De Grugy's in the Tingle Creek and both he and Grandouet are shaping up to be credible, if not terrifying, Arkle challengers to Champagne Fever. The Punchestown chase debut of Willie Mullins' dual Festival winner hinted that he is heading for the top among the two-mile novices.

Old Vic
12-17-2013, 07:38 AM

Grade1 win at Sandown

Old Vic
02-13-2014, 07:46 PM

He's likely to go for the Arkle and he's one I've minded a little bit with the heavy ground we've had over the winter. He won his two starts at Sandown in the autumn, he's obviously a second-season novice so his jumping's good, and he likes better ground. He'll have a racecourse gallop in the next 10 days and he's still got an entry in the Champion Chase. I just thought with him being a second-season novice, if the race cut up and it dried up a bit it would be nice to have the option, so that was the thinking behind his entry. Again, he looks great in his coat, he's got loads of speed and he was struggling with his breathing last year. He bled after an all-weather bumper last January so he had a breathing operation and that's turned him around a little bit. He could go to Cheltenham, Aintree and possibly Sandown. I don't think there's much between him and Dodging Bullets, they're two really good two-mile chasers.