The race is a Grade 2 National Hunt chase and is a race for horses that are at least four years old.
Although being the first big chase of the season and run at The Grand National
racecourse it is not run over the national fences but is run on Aintree's "normal" Mildmay racecourse. The distance of the race is 2 miles 4 furlongs and there are 16 fences to be jumped.
For 4yo+ Weights highest weight 11st 10lb Minimum weights 10-4, 3-y-o 10-0 Penalties after October 21st, a winner of a chase 4lb (No penalty to increase a horse's weight above 11st 10lb) God's Own's Handicap Mark 166
With 13 possible runners going to post the 2017 Monet's Garden Old Roan Chase has attracted a good field this year.
At the head of the market will be the smart seven-year-old Cloudy Dream. His second in the Arkle last season behind the very smart, Altior is really good form. And he must be well respected.
Shantou Village is another who is likely to be at the head of the market and was on really good form last season winning every race that he finished. This represents a step up in class for him and he often goes well when fresh. With four wins from five Chase starts he is a classy individual.
Top weight in the race is the Tom George trained God's Own. He runs well when fresh and is a course winner here having won the Melling Chase in 2016. He is giving weight all round today but could run well under conditions.
Tea for Two was in great form last year and was going well in the Gold cup before unseating his rider. He went to the Aintree Festival taking on the very smart Cue Card and beating him by a neck that day.
The Alan King trained Smad Place is a very smart horse. A past Hennessy winner he put up some good performances last year without actually winning a race. He was beaten by Tea for Two here at the Aintree Festival at level weights but gets some allowance from him here today. However, he was beaten by over 16 lengths so it is difficult to see him turning that around.
Aso was in the same race at this course as the previous two and finished behind them. He seems to need soft ground to show his best and therefore is difficult to fancy today.
Traffic Fluide lost his way a bit last year and is probably best watched on his first outing of the year.
Philip Hobbs trained Royal Regatta is another who had a few problems towards the end of last season. He is a horse that doesn't want it too soft so the drying ground may be a help to him. He is a nice horse that likes flat tracks and could just make the frame at a very big price.
Devils Bride, trained by Henry de Bromhead is a well-exposed 10-year-old. Looks to have plenty on his plate you today.
Last years winner Third Intention had a couple of these horses in behind him.. He likes this course and seems to run well when fresh and has every chance of running into at least a place again.
Ballybolley comes year fit and well as he started his season early. He was a winner of a listed handicap chase last month and is from the bang in form yard of Nigel Twiston-Davies. I suspect a good run is expected for this horse.
Oldgrangewood is only six years old and has had the benefit of a run in a hurdles race back in October and will come here fit and well. He should come on for that and we may see a good performance here today.
Bouvreuil is a nice French bread chaser. Who seems to be still learning his trade. He is just a pound out of the handicap and is probably best just watched today.
The market would suggest that this is a two horse race between Shantou Village and Cloudy Dream but this just might not be so straightforward. The front-runner Smad Place could run well again today and will ensure that there is a good pace. The smart chaser Tea for Two really seems to have got his act together and is likely to also run well, however with Shantou Village getting weight from a lot of other horses he gets the nod today.
|Race card no.||Name||Form / Special||Age||Weight||Trainer||Jockey||BHA Rating|
|1||God's Own (IRE)||233553- / CD||9||11st 10lbs||Tom George||A. P. Heskin||166|
|2||Tea For Two (GB)||5241U1- / C||8||11st 8lbs||Nick Williams||Lizzie Kelly(3)||164|
|3||Smad Place (FR)||6/40303- / D||10||11st 3lbs||Alan King||Wayne Hutchinson||159|
|4||Aso (FR)||210434- / D||7||11st 0lbs||Venetia Williams||Charlie Deutsch(3)||156|
|5||Traffic Fluide (FR)||3/46632-||7||11st 0lbs||Gary Moore||Jamie Moore||156|
|6||Cloudy Dream (IRE)||122221- / D||7||10st 13lbs||Malcolm Jefferson||Brian Hughes||155|
|7||Royal Regatta (IRE) B T||3/51P3P- / CD||9||10st 12lbs||Philip Hobbs||Richard Johnson||154|
|8||Devils Bride (IRE) T p||F-332F5||10||10st 12lbs||Henry de Bromhead||Jonathan Moore||154|
|9||Third Intention (IRE) T||5040F4- / CD||10||10st 8lbs||Colin Tizzard||Aidan Coleman||150|
|10||Ballybolley (IRE) T||41-3F01 / CD||8||10st 7lbs||Nigel Twiston-Davies||Daryl Jacob||149|
|11||Shantou Village (IRE)||P/11F11- / D||7||10st 6lbs||Neil Mulholland||Noel Fehily||148|
|12||Oldgrangewood (GB) T||B11P3-3||6||10st 5lbs||Dan Skelton||Harry Skelton||147|
|13||Bouvreuil (FR) H T||24/5630-||6||10st 4lbs||Paul Nicholls||Sam Twiston-Davies||145|
|Race position||Name||Form / Special||Age||Weight||Trainer||Jockey||BHA Rating|
|1||Smad Place (FR)||6/40303- / D||10||11st 3lbs||Alan King||Wayne Hutchinson||159|
|2||Cloudy Dream (IRE)||122221- / D||7||10st 13lbs||Malcolm Jefferson||Brian Hughes||155|
|3||Oldgrangewood (GB) T||B11P3-3||6||10st 5lbs||Dan Skelton||Harry Skelton||147|
|4||Traffic Fluide (FR)||3/46632-||7||11st 0lbs||Gary Moore||Jamie Moore||156|
|5||Aso (FR)||210434- / D||7||11st 0lbs||Venetia Williams||Charlie Deutsch(3)||156|
|6||God's Own (IRE)||233553- / CD||9||11st 10lbs||Tom George||A. P. Heskin||166|
|7||Bouvreuil (FR) H T||24/5630-||6||10st 4lbs||Paul Nicholls||Sam Twiston-Davies||145|
|8||Third Intention (IRE) T||5040F4- / CD||10||10st 8lbs||Colin Tizzard||Aidan Coleman||150|
|9||Tea For Two (GB)||5241U1- / C||8||11st 8lbs||Nick Williams||Lizzie Kelly(3)||164|
|10||Devils Bride (IRE) T p||F-332F5||10||10st 12lbs||Henry de Bromhead||Jonathan Moore||154|
|N/R||Ballybolley (IRE) T||41-3F01 / CD||8||10st 7lbs||Nigel Twiston-Davies||Daryl Jacob||149|
|P/U||Royal Regatta (IRE) B T||3/51P3P- / CD||9||10st 12lbs||Philip Hobbs||Richard Johnson||154|
|P/U||Shantou Village (IRE)||P/11F11- / D||7||10st 6lbs||Neil Mulholland||Noel Fehily||148|
The winner of the race Smad Place was always in a good place up with the leading group throughout the race. He often runs well first time out and did so today. He took the lead from 3 out and was challenged between the last two by Cloudy Dream who was going well. However, he stayed on well and looked as if he worried Cloudy Dream out of it.
Cloudy Dream was up with the pace and was going well throughout the race. Looked to be going the better when he challenged at the last fence but was intimidated by the winner, he than switched right and stayed on strongly and was second by three-quarters of a length.
Oldgrangewood Mid-division and going well. Stayed on at the finish but never got the two leaders and was 3rd by 9 lengths.
Traffic Fluide with leaders but got outpaced three out. Stayed on for 4th.
Aso was behind and outpaced but stayed on to finish 5th.
God's Own was with leaders but weakened from two out. Finished 6th
Bouvreuil in mid-field but weakened finished 7th
Third Intention held up but make mistake at 4th. Never on terms. finished 8th
Tea For Two held up but soon strugling. finished 9th
Devils Bride chased leaders at the start but soon lost place and struggled. Finished 10th
Royal Regatta led until 4 from home when weakened and soon beaten. Pulled up before last.
Shantou Village. In mid-field but never really going. Weakened 4 from home and pulled up before last.
Stewards report on race:-
An enquiry was held to consider interference on the run to the final fence when the winner, SMAD PLACE (FR), ridden by Wayne Hutchinson, drifted left hampering CLOUDY DREAM (IRE), placed second, ridden by Brian Hughes, which was carried off its intended line. The riders were interviewed and shown recordings of the incident. Hutchinson was suspended for 2 days for careless riding in that he allowed his mount to shift left for several strides without timely correction.
The performance of SHANTOU VILLAGE (IRE) which started favourite but was pulled up, was considered. Trainer Neil Mulholland could offer no explanation for the gelding’s performance. The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of the gelding failed to reveal any abnormalities.