Fruity O’Rooney with great handicap chance

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Gary Moore has had a great season so far and heads to the Festival having accumulated more prize money from chases than he did in the entirety of his previous two seasons.

The Sussex trainer will be hoping to add a massive £75,000 to the £160,000 he has already won, as 2012 runner-up Fruity O’Rooney bids to go one better in the JLT Specialty Handicap Chase.

The ten-year-old, who is currently 10/1 for the profitable handicap, has been a consistent performer this season, evidenced by his last start when chasing home Gold Cup hope Katenko at Cheltenham in January. It bodes well for Moore, then, that eight of the last ten winners had placed on their start prior to the race.

Moore will also be pleased that the handicapper has left his chance alone and carries only a pound more than last year – getting 6lb from ante-post favourite Our Mick who goes off a mark of 11-4.

Donald McCain’s charge, available at 5/1, unseated his rider in that same race at Prestbury Park in January, but prior to that had been in great form with a Grade 3 place and winning a novice hurdle of the highest order.

However, you have to go back to 1998 to find a winner of this race who has carried more than 11st, and while seven out of ten winners came from the top four in the betting, only one favourite in the last ten years has obliged.

If JP McManus’ 2012 winner Alfie Sherrin, a 12/1 shot, is to retain his title, he would become the first horse to do so since Scot Lane in 1983.

Cantlow, who has looked very handy in novice events, is also a great chance for McManus and is available at 8/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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