2:50 – Wetherby – BECOME AN ANNUAL BADGE HOLDER HANDICAP CHASE (CLASS 3) (4yo+ 0-135) Good To Soft, Good in places 2m
It is very interesting that Tiptoeaway is running over 2 miles again today when the vast majority of his career over hurdles and fences has been run over distances of 2 miles 3 furlongs plus. The 7 year old bay gelding has in fact only run twice over 2 miles. The first time was on his racecourse debut when he won a bumper at Hexham and his only other run over the trip was his final start of last season, when he won at Ayr in a Class 3 Novice Handicap Chase.
Before his win at Ayr he has run five times over fences and although he managed to win a very modest four runner Beginners Chase at Newcastle, he was beaten a total of 117 lengths in the other four races. However, he looked a different proposition over 2 miles as he was with the leaders until he led at the 4th fence and went on to make all, quickening before the 4th last fence, he was ridden and ran on strongly before the 2nd last to win by 3 lengths. He won the hard way as he was always towards the front helping to make the pace before he went on. Michael Meagher, racing manager to his owner Trevor Hemings said: “That is the first time Tiptoeaway has run over 2m since his bumper. We always thought that 2m4f-plus was his trip but Tim Easterby said he is not short of speed at home. He was wrong the last couple of runs and this race fell into place. The ground is the big thing, he really likes good ground.”
He has got his ground again today at Wetherby with the going being confirmed at 6:49am as Good to Soft, Good in Places with 1mm of rain overnight. Tiptoesaway has run in Good ground four times, winning twice and has also won once and been placed four times in Good to Soft going.
He is ridden by Brian Harding this afternoon, who has ridden him on his last two starts and five times in total including two wins. He has ridden for Tiptoeaway’s trainer Tim Easterby 39 times over the last 5 seasons and has won 6 times for a fairly modest winning strike rate of 15%. However, 5 of those wins have come in Chase races from just 16 runs resulting in an excellent winning strike rate of 31%.
Today’s race will undoubtedly be the stiffest task Tiptoesaway has faced so far in his Chasing career. He won off an Official Rating of 122 at Ayr and is running off 128 today and he is up against some seasoned chasers. However, he does go well after a break and it is likely that the tactics used at Ayr will be employed again today. After just one run over the minimum trip it is perhaps to soon to be totally confident about his ability over the distance but in an open race in which nothing else really appeals he looks the solid option.