NAP of the Day: It’s Persian Time!

 | November 30 | 

2 mins read

Owen McMahon's NAP of the Day

Literally, the NAP of the Day is Persian Time at Newbury. Here's why...

NAP of the Day

  • 12:40 Newbury - Persian Time @ 2/1

Nicky Henderson has always held Persian Time in high regard, but the five-year-old hasn't quite lived up to expectations so far.

He was very good on his rules debut at Ascot back in November last year, winning a competitive Introductory Hurdle in good fashion, but he struggled next time out, at the same venue a few months later, behind the now 143-rated Springwell Bay.

No shame there and I wouldn't bother looking into his subsequent effort in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival as he was 150/1 and I'm sure even Nicky himself will admit that was a very ambitious engagement.

He then went up to Ayr in April to round off his novice hurdling campaign and arguably put up a career-best performance. He finished second, beaten over two lengths by the winner, but he finished in front of some nice types and travelled extremely sweetly for a long way before getting outstayed.

Therefore, I'm delighted he's been dropped in trip to two miles for his chasing debut. He looks a proper chaser in the making and Nicky's been particularly bullish about how schooling has gone, so it's fair to say I'm expecting significant improvement on both fronts. It's also his handicap debut, and a lowly mark of 129 could really underestimate him.

This looks an ideal starting point. Venetia Williams is in red-hot form and Djelo must be respected, but he's been raised seven pounds to a career-high mark of 135 and probably wants much softer ground than this.

Paul Nicholls has already said he thinks Lallygag is rated too high, so on that alone he's hard to advise - while Richhill and Hecouldbetheone have a lot to find in this company.

The selection's stablemate Russian Ruler can't be ignored, but Nico De Boinville's decision to ride Persian Time has to be taken into account and this is the former's first run after a second wind op during the summer, which is off-putting.

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