Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle – Sir Psycho 16/1 NRNB
Paul Nicholls has entered up Sir Psycho in a few smart novice races out of juvenile company this weekend. He’s due to either take up an engagement at Ascot on Saturday or Exeter on Sunday where he’s due to take on Master Debonair, Sporting John, Eden Du Houx or some other smart animals. Clearly Paul Nicholls thinks a fair bit of this horse who has been campaigned aggressively in handicap company outside of juvenile company. Paul is probably thinking, if he wins here it will be a pleasant surprise and will have no option but to aim big in the Triumph. On the other hand, he runs a good race and maintains his handicap mark which I’m hoping will set him up nicely for the Boodles after that experience. I think the horse will get a bit further in time which will only see him to good affect up against inexperienced juveniles over an extended 2 miles with a typical stiff Cheltenham finish. He battered the inconsistent Bullionaire by 31 lengths, albeit receiving lots of weight, who’s form ties in with Sporting John and Harry Senior. He comes across as a battle hardened juvenile who’s already mixed it with his elders in some tough handicaps. I like the form lines with Annsam, Repetitio and Le Legrien who have all come out and won since. I’m happy to take the 16/1 each way, non runner no bet safe in the knowledge that if he does surprise everyone on the weekend and wins, then we haven’t lost any money if Paul decides to switch to the Triumph.
Paul Nicholls has won this race in 2016 and 2015 (when it was the Fred Winter) with Diego Du Charmil and Qualando. He also had the second in 2016, Romain De Senam and also fielded second place in 2014 in Kargary. In 2013 he also had second place and the third with Caid Du Berlais and Ptit Zig, so he’s got an excellent record in the race in the last 8 runnings. The form, the campaign and the stats lean me into making Sir Psycho my first antepost selection in the handicaps.