Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

National Tip Is Not Just Idle Talk Now

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

National Tip Is Not Just Idle Talk Now

Article excerpt

Byline: By Nick Robson

Idle talk is a confident selection to land the Gala Casinos Daily Record Scottish Grand National for trainer Tom George at Ayr tomorrow.

The lightly-raced seven-year-old has an impressive 50% strike rate under Rules, having won four of his eight starts, and he has been crying out for this trip of four miles and a furlong.

Surprisingly, his best performance came in defeat last time out when he made the impressive Star De Mohaison pull out all the stops in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

That form has been boosted with the winner following up at Aintree and the fact that Idle Talk was conceding over half-a-stone to the winner as a weight-for-age allowance enhances his standing even more.

George has always thought highly of his charge and his only disappointing performances have come behind Asian Maze at last year's Grand National meeting when the ground was too quick and in the Reynoldstown Chase at Lingfield when George described the ground to be like `glue'.

His run at Cheltenham has since proved that good ground is no problem to him ( indeed, his jumping seemed to improve for it and he looks extremely well handicapped.

Throw in the statistics that novices generally do well in the race and he looks to have a lot going for him.

Also at Ayr, in the Samsung Electronics Scottish Champion Hurdle, Wellbeing looks well up to this step up in class.

This one-time top-class performer on the level ( he finished fifth in the 2000 Derby ( was a late starter at the winter game but he has soon made up for lost time.

He took time to warm to the task over hurdles and it wasn't until his fourth start that he found the winning trial but his last performance suggested that he has got the hang of things now.

Stepped up to Listed handicap company for the first time he absolutely bolted in and finished a comfortable nine lengths in front of his more than useful stable companion Noble Request.

Philip Hobbs knows when he has seen a decent hurdler after handling Rooster Booster and talk of the Champion Hurdle was mooted after that display. Whether he is up to that at his relatively advanced age remains to be seen but he has few miles on the clock for a nine-year-old and can take the Scottish version. …

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