The Doom Bar Handicap Chase (15:50 Saturday 23 March) is a class 2 chase run over 2 miles 3 furlongs and 187 yards at Newbury. It was run for the first time in 2014 and notable winners include Royal Rebellion, Warrior’s Tale, and Thomas Crapper.
Doom Bar Handicap Chase Trends
All five previous winners were aged either seven, eight, nine or ten, were rated between 123 and 149, and carried between 10-0 and 11-12. They had run between 11 and 133 days prior to their success and were returned at SP’s ranging from 4/1 to 9/1.
Previous renewals have been contested by between seven and 13 runners but only five horses are set to go to post for the 2019 edition.
Doom Bar Handicap Chase 2019 Runner-By-Runner Guide
His record suggests he really likes Newbury where he has won over hurdles off a mark of 133 and finished second off 143. He also finished second in two handicap chases at the course in 2017. The second of those was his last run for 707 days until he reappeared over course and distance last time out and again finished second. The handicapper has raised him 3lb for that run and he must carry top-weight this time round. However, he could easily find further improvement following his comeback after a long lay-off.
Another horse that has a decent course record at Newbury including a win off a mark of 135. However, he finished two-lengths behind Gala Ball and has just a 2lb pull to turn that form around. At the age of 12, it’s also hard to see him improving, whereas Gala Ball definitely could.
Cobra De Mai
He has won eight times in his career and it could be significant that all his wins have come in fields with eight runners or less. However, after being beaten off marks in the 130’s several times, it’s hard to be convinced that he can defy a career high-mark of 143 after winning a soft-looking race at Leicester last time. His stable is in decent form though.
Rated 2lb higher this time last year but it’s possibly easy to get carried away with his recent return to form. The form of his win two starts ago doesn’t look that strong whilst he was beaten by Cobra De Mai last time. Gets a 2lb pull with his conqueror but all his best runs in this country have come at Leicester and he was pulled up on his only other start at Newbury, be it in a much stronger contest.
He’s not had the best of seasons so far but it’s worth noting that he once gave Cobra De Mai 6lb and a decent beating at the Cheltenham Festival and he now receives 12lb from that re-opposing rival. That Cheltenham win came off a mark of 140 and, though he’s yet to take advantage of his sliding handicap mark, he’s now down to 131 and surely will soon.
Doom Bar Handicap Chase 2019 Verdict
The gut feeling is that Cobra De Mai is a little overrated, whilst Got Away’s recent resurgence came at Leicester where he’s impressed before.
It would be nice to see the old boy of the party Valdez turn back the clock, but he was beaten by Gala Ball last time and the younger horse still has scope for further improvement. However, they both must carry big-weights and the concession of 13lb and 12lb to former Cheltenham Festival winner Foxtail Hill could be a tough ask.
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has also had three winners from 11 runners this week and there’s a chance that Foxtail Hill may just get an uncontested lead out in front. If that’s the case, he could easily spring back to form now he’s dropped in class.
Doom Bar Handicap Chase 2019 Free Tip:
Foxtail Hill @ 5.00 BetHard, 10Bet, MoPlay