Old Roan Chase defence on Nuts Well agenda
Nuts Well will bid for second Old Roan Chase at Aintree on October 24 having made a winning comeback at Kelso recently.
The 10-year-old was an 18-1 winner of the Grade Two last season, claiming a one-and-a-half-length victory from Clondaw Castle under Danny McMenamin.
He went back to Aintree in April for the Marsh Chase, better known as the Melling, where he finished a creditable second.
Fakir D’oudairies was the eventual winner, but Nuts Well was severely hampered when landing after the third-last and was forced to regain lost ground from there on.
“He won there (Aintree) and he was very unlucky the next time,” said Ian Hamilton, owner of the horse and husband of trainer Ann.
“They tried to put him through the rails and it didn’t work.”
The Grade Two Peterborough Chase has also been pencilled in on Nuts Wells’ calendar, a race he missed last season as flooding caused the abandonment of the fixture and the race was moved to Cheltenham from Huntingdon.
“That’s the plan anyway, the plan last year was Aintree and then Huntingdon for the Peterborough Chase, but it was off last year and they moved it to Cheltenham,” said Hamilton.
“We didn’t think Cheltenham would suit him so we had a curtailed season really, because of that and the weather, so he didn’t run until later in the season.
“That’s the plan, he’s got to run in Graded races now because they keep putting him up but you never know, we might go to Cheltenham later on – he seems to be getting better with age like I am!”
The Hamiltons had two runners at Wetherby on Wednesday afternoon, one of whom was six-year-old novice chaser Pay The Piper, who was left to tackle the majority of his race alone after his only rival fell at the first fence.
“He made a good job of it though, didn’t he?” Hamilton said.
“A lot of horses wouldn’t have, but he seemed to enjoy just jumping round on his own.”
Their other runner was Tommy’s Oscar in the Watch Racing TV Anywhere Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, with the six-year-old finishing the runner-up after starting as the 7-4 favourite under William Shanahan.
“They’ll both probably run at Carlisle,” Hamilton said of their future plans.
“There’s a 0-150 handicap hurdle that will probably do for Tommy’s Oscar and then the Colin Parker Chase at the end of the month for the other fella – that’s what we’re thinking.”
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