Published 14th February
REDICEAN held Group 1 entries on the Flat as a promising two-year-old and having made the perfect start over jumps could be the value bet in the JCB Triumph Hurdle.
Formerly trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, he never took up those aforementioned lofty engagements but he did catch the eye in an above-average renewal of the Zetland Stakes, staying on from an impossible position under an exaggerated waiting ride to finish eighth to subsequent Ribblesdale winner Coronet.
What’s more, four places and only four lengths ahead of him was last year’s Derby winner Wings Of Eagles, himself just behind Permian, who went on to land the Dante and King Edward VII as well as being pipped a nose in the Grand Prix de Paris.
In addition, he’s closely related to Venezia, a winning hurdler for Edward O’Grady who was also a classy Flat handicapper when trained by Martin Meade, for whom he finished fourth in the 2014 King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot.
Latterly rated 86 on the level for David O’Meara after winning a 1m6f Redcar handicap in the autumn, Redicean was bought by King for 85,000 guineas - money that looks well spent judged by his 100 per cent record over hurdles courtesy of two clear-cut wins at Kempton.
On both occasions he scored comfortably despite some typically novice mistakes, but that was on very soft ground and with his background and pedigree it’s not unreasonable to expect significant progress in that department on a quicker surface
On both occasions he scored comfortably despite some typically novice mistakes, but that was on very soft ground and with his background and pedigree it’s not unreasonable to expect significant progress in that department on a quicker surface.
At his best on the Flat when held up and produced for a turn of foot, he also strikes as one who would appreciate a strongly-run race in better company - further grist to the Festival mill.
Apple’s Shakira deservedly heads the market thanks to three impressive victories - all at Cheltenham - since joining Nicky Henderson from France, where she won her only start across the Channel.
She has obvious claims, especially in receipt of the 7lb mares’ allowance, but she’s only ever raced in testing conditions and it remains to be seen if she’s as effective on a sounder surface.
At least her stablemate We Have A Dream (in different ownership) has a good-ground success to his name, thereby giving his trainer a strong hand in a race he’s already won six times.
Gary's Recommended Bet (scale 1-5 points):
JCB TRIUMPH HURDLE (Friday 16th March)
1pt win REDICEAN (10/1 Betfair Sportsbook, Bet Victor, Boylesports, Unibet OR 8/1 bet365, 7/1 Paddy Power - Non-Runner No Bet)
Gary provides regular ante-post updates on Twitter. His username is @horsetraderinfo