Wymott still unbeaten over fences after Bangor win


Donald McCain's talented novice chaser Wymott maintained his unbeaten record over the larger obstacles with a convincing win at Bangor on Friday and was duly shortened from 20/1 to 14/1 for the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in mid-March, writes Elliot Slater. 

The former classy hurdler is now three from three over fences after staying-on too strongly for Emma Lavelle's useful Bouggler and the Nicky Henderson-trained Rackham Lerouge, (a half-brother to the very smart Punchestowns), but not everybody that witnessed Wymott's victory was ecstatic with what they saw. 

It's certainly the case that Wymott is not a flashy performer; he generally does enough to score and not a great deal more, although his winning margin at Bangor was 10-lengths, his biggest winning distance so far over fences. Jumping generally soundly, the seven-year-old had quite a battle with Bouggler from six out before that rival capitulated from the second last. It has subsequently been revealed that the runner-up burst a blood vessel, which casts a shadow of doubt over the winner's performance. Although a lot of punters will be concentrating on the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting, those looking at the form for the RSA Chase should spend some time considering just how good Wymott's win really was.

Prior to this latest win, Wymott had scraped home after a hearty battle with Shalimar Frontero at Exeter, a race in which he eventually prevailed by half-a-length. There is no doubt that he has the right attitude, but the big question is whether or not he has the star qualities required to win at Cheltenham in the three-mile RSA Chase against high-class opposition such as the outstanding market leader Time For Rupert? 

For his part, in light of the revelation of the burst blood vessel, Bouggler (himself a very useful hurdler) put up a sound effort in defeat and should win his share of races. Rackham Lerouge however was disappointing, indeed beaten over 90-lengths by the winner, this effort was surely too bad to be true. 

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