Don Cossack may head the John Durkan Memorial Chase betting, but the return to a trip at which Boston Bob has never lost is expected to see the latter prevail at 13/8.
In addition to the Willie Mullins inmate’s love affair with 2m4f chasing, a confident assessment of his chances from jockey Ruby Walsh, who partners him at Punchestown, offers further reason to believe he can put a disappointing run in the JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal firmly behind him.
Victory in Aintree’s Grade 1 Melling Chase last term saw Boston Bob elongate his perfect record over two-and-a-half-miles to an impressive six races and he’s far more experienced at the distance than the 5/4 market leader, who has won one of his two races of identical length.
This is also a time of year that the son of Bob Back clearly relishes, having won all three of his career runs during December.
Obviously there are four other runners in the race, but, according to Walsh (writing in the Irish Examiner), only Lord Windermere should even enter calculations, with the crack pilot revealing:
“There are six runners in the Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial and, to me, only three count: Boston Bob, Don Cossack and you must have respect for the Gold Cup winner, Lord Windermere, who improved with every run last season.”
However, given Lord Windermere will be making his seasonal bow and has previous for improving as the season wends its way he is likely to be at a fitness disadvantage in comparison to his chief rival.
After narrowing down the field Walsh also found some words of reassurance for those concerned about Boston Bob’s rather under par showing last time out, when he trailed home 29l behind Road To Riches:
“I think he (Boston Bob) has improved a hell of a lot for his run in the North (JNwine.com Champion Chase) last month, he’s in really good form, and has a great chance.”
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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