Wednesday 13th March: 2:10 Cheltenham – 3m ½f (3m 80y) (Old) RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) (5yo+)
On The Blind Side won at Kempton on his last start on only his second run over fences. The seven year old bay gelding has previously run twice at Cheltenham, winning a Grade 2 Novices’ Hurdle in November 2017.
The Kempton win was over 3 miles which goes some way to proving On The Blind Side’s stamina to see out the similar distance at Cheltenham. His previous win at Cheltenham came over a trip 3 furlongs shorter than today’s race but he was going away up the hill, winning the race by 2½ lengths. However, he does need to prove that he can stay on up the hill over a trip 3½ furlongs further as his Kempton win was on a flat course.
The going at Cheltenham is riding Soft. On The Blind Side won a maiden point to point in soft ground and he has won on three occasions in Good to Soft ground suggesting that he can handle the going.
He has only raced six times in his career and has won on four occasions. He has showed a willing attitude in his race efforts so appears to relish the task in hand responding well to his rider. He is ridden today by Noel Fehily as his regular jockey Nico de Boinville rides Nicky Henderson’s other better fancied runner Santini. Henderson has employed Fehily at The Festival previously, most famously when the latter won the Champion Hurdle in 2017 on Buveur D’Air.
With his willing attitude, a good winning record and a very competent and experienced jockey riding, On The Blind Side would appear to have a decent each way chance.
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