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The Peter Marsh Chase is a Grade Two race run over 3m that is staged at Haydock Park racecourse.
First run in 1981 the contest is sometimes billed as another Grand National trial, but we’ve yet to see a winner of this race land the Aintree marathon in the same season, although the 1995 winner, Earth Summit, did go onto win the Grand National 3 years later.
12 months ago we saw the Venetia Williams-trained Royal Pagaille romp home to victory.
Here at JUICESTORM we take a look back at recent winners and gives you the main stats to look out for ahead of the 2022 renewal – this year run on Saturday January 22nd.
Recent Peter Marsh Chase Winners
2021 – ROYAL PAGAILLE (11/5 fav)
2020 – VINTAGE CLOUDS (7/1)
2019 – WAKANDA (6/1)
2018 – THE DUTCHMAN (13/2)
2017 – BRISTOL DE MAI (4/1 jfav)
2016 – CLOUDY TOO (6/1)
2015 – SAMSTOWN (16/1)
2014 – WYCHWOODS BROOK (16/1)
2013 – No race
2012 – ACCORDING TO PETE (9/1)
2011 – No race
2010 – OUR VIC (20/1)
2009 – CLOUDY LANE (6/1)
2008 – No race
2007 – THE OUTLIER (8/1)
2006 – EBONY LIGHT (33/1)
2005 – LORD TRANSCEND (9/4 fav)
2004 – ARTIC JACK (6/1)
2003 – TRUCKERS TAVERN (9/2)
2002 – RED STRIKER (8/1)
2001 – No race
2000 – THE LAST FLING (11/2)
Key Peter Marsh Chase Betting Trends
18/18 – Won on ground described as soft or worse previously
17/18 – Ran within the last 6 weeks
16/18 – Carried 11-3 or less in weight
16/18 – Had run within the last 36 days
16/18 – Aged 8 or older
13/18 – Officially Rated 139 or higher
13/18 – Won at Haydock previously
12/18 – Won at least 3 times over fences previously
12/18 – Carried 10-12 or less in weight
12/18 – Favourites unplaced
11/18 – Won before (fences) over at least 3m
10/18 – Irish bred
10/18 – Finished in the top 3 in their last race
10/18 – Won over fences at Haydock before
9/18 – Won between 3-5 times over fences before
9/18 – Aged either 8 or 9 years-old
9/18 – From outside the top 3 in the betting
7/18 – Went onto finish unplaced in that season’s Grand National
7/18 – Ran at Wetherby last time out
7/18 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
6/18 – Raced in the Rowland Meyrick (Wetherby) last time out
5/18 – Trained by Sue Smith (3 of the last 6)
4/18 – Ridden by Danny Cook
3/18 – Won their last race
3/18 – Winning favourites
2/18 – Trained By Venetia Williams (3 wins in total)
2/18 – Trained by the McCain stable
The average winning SP in the last 18 runnings is 9/1
JUICESTORM VERDICT: Last year we saw a romp in this race when the Venetia Williams-trained ROYAL PAGAILLE bolted up by 16 lengths. He’s rated 7lbs higher this time but has since run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and was a fair runner-up, albeit beaten 22 lengths, here in the Betfair Chase. He won this race carrying 11-10 last season and has that same weight again, while his record here at Haydock reads 1-1-2. He’ll get his preferred softer ground here too and will be looking to become the first back-to-back winner of this race since General Wolfe (1998-99). With Royal Pagaille the class act in the race then this will, however, help the others in terms of the low weights they carry. Empire Steel, Lord Du Mesnil and recent winner Kalooki could all be dangerous off low burdens. Course winner – Sam Brown – is another to note, but he’s got a bit to prove over these longer trips for me. Fortescue was 7th in the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase in November and has since run well to be second at Kempton, but it’s the horse that fell when going well in that Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury – REMASTERED – that can give last year’s winner most to think about. This Pipe-trained runner has just 10-7 to carry, which is a lot less than the 11-13 he had to carry to be 2nd in the Tommy Whittle Chase here last time – with that in mind, you feel a repeat of that last run would give him a big chance. The Pipe team won this in 2010 with Our Vic.
So, what are the main trends to look for?
Age – We’ve seen three of the last six winners aged 10 years-old, so don’t totally discount the older runners, while in the last 10 runnings we’ve also had 11 and 12 year-old winners. However, we’ve also had three 8 year-olds since 2014 take the race. 12 months ago the winner – Royal Pagaille – won the race as a 7 year-old, but with a massive 16 of the last 18 successful horses aged 8 or older this seems to be the more dominant age trend.
Recent Form – Having a recent run is another key trend to look for. 17 of the last 18 winners had raced in the last six weeks, with 16 of the last 18 having had an outing within the last 36 days. Also look for horses that are coming here off the back off a fair run as 10 of the last 18 winners finished in the top three in their last race. Other things to look for regrading recent form, is that 6 of the last 18 winners ran at Wetherby last time out in the Rowland Meyrick Chase – this race is normally run on Boxing Day.
Weight – Being a handicap and run over 3m+, then the weight carried is certainly worth looking at too. In 2020, the winner had a big weight of 11st 10lbs to carry but that didn’t stop him – but since 1998 (20 runnings), we’ve only had two winners lump that weight to victory. With 12 of the last 18 winners carrying 10st 12lbs this looks a good cut-off point.
Course Form – Having proven course form has also helped. Haydock used to be more of a test when the fences were slightly different. Yes, it still takes some getting – especially on softer ground, so having had a taster of it before is a bonus and this is backed up with 10 of the last 18 winners having won over fences at Haydock in the past. Plus, 13 of the last 18 winners have also won (hurdles/chase) at the track.
Favourites – It’s been a better contest for the bookmakers over punters in recent times – with only three winning favourites in the last 18 runnings. That said, all is not totally lost when it comes to the market leaders in terms of still running good races – this is supported with 12 of the last 18 being placed and last year’s winner – Royal Pagaille – also rewarded favourite backers. In the last 18 runnings, the average winning SP has been 9/1.
Stable Form – As mentioned previously, the Sue Smith team have a great record in this race in recent years – winning three of the six runnings. Jockey Danny Cook has also ridden all three of the Sue Smith recent winners in this race, so anything he gets the leg-up is certainly one to respect. Other yards to note, that have won this prize since 2007 are Venetia Williams (3), David Pipe (1), Donald McCain (1), Evan Williams (1) Colin Tizzard (1) and Nigel Twiston-Davies (1). While, so far, it’s a race that’s eluded ‘big gun’ trainers – Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls – but in their defence probably haven’t had many runners in the race over the years.
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