Racing UK

Aidan Coleman

Alary should have no problems with British fences

20 January 2017

Aidan Coleman gives you a steer to his rides on Saturday which includes the much-vaunted French import Alary at Haydock.

Saturday's rides

Alary has become a real hype horse in recent weeks but the talking stops at Haydock on Saturday.

He is being talked about as a live outsider in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup and he puts his credentials on show in the Peter Marsh Handicap Chase.

For those who don’t know his background, he’s a seven-year-old who has done all his racing in France and competed there at the very highest level.

He was third in the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris at Auteuil, perhaps the equivalent of the King George VI Chase over here.

He clearly has top-class form in France and the big question is whether he can translate that to the UK.

I have never sat on him and I haven’t talked to his trainer Colin Tizzard seriously about him yet, but I can’t see there being any problems with him making the transition to British fences.

They have to negotiate all types of fences in France, and Auteuil, where he’s done nearly all his racing, has a big open ditch and water jump, so he’s clearly versatile. The going or distance should not be an issue, so there should be no excuses.

He’s got to give weight away to all his rivals in what is a typically competitive and strong renewal and this is by no means a penalty kick. If his French form holds up then we’ll hopefully get to see what he’s all about.

Earlier on the card, Solatentif lines up in the Star Sports Cheltenham Preview Evening Novices' Chase. He ran well on his first start over fences this month and has some good form in the book. However, the Paul Nicholls-trained Politologue will be very hard to beat.

Suit Yourself has not completed in his two runs over fences, unseating on his first attempt and then being pulled up on his second.

He runs in the Racing UK Club Day Today Handicap Chase and clearly the jury is out on his jumping but he jumps well at home and seems in good form.

Last week

Looking back at last weekend, I was not sure what to make of Doesyourdogbite’s run.

He was three from three going into the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton, and seemed to be on a very fair mark so was understandably sent off favourite.

However, he wasn't fluent at all his hurdles and then struggled to keep tabs on the leaders before running on at the end. Perhaps, that’s just as good as he is, although his next run will tell us more.

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