Source: RFO Official via Twitter
Romain De Senam has the opportunity to continue his successful start to the National Hunt season. The French horse notched a victory in his opening race of the new campaign in October, claiming the win at Chepstow, and the five-year-old now has the opportunity to add a major title in the Grade 3 arena, with the hope of notching the Gold Cup in the meet at Cheltenham racecourse.
The Bay Gelding has 14 appearances under his belt in three years and has recorded three victories in the process, having made his debut at Wincanton in the Juvenile Hurdle in October 2015. Although he was considered the favourite for the race, the French horse still had to manage the expectation. With Sam Twiston-Davies in the saddle, he eased to victory over the rest of the field to secure the debut win and maintained his momentum with a third-place finish at Cheltenham in the Triumph Hurdle Trial.
Romain De Senam almost secured his second victory of his career at Catterick, only to be beaten out by the narrowest of margins by Jaleo at the Juvenile Hurdle. The French horse took a step back in his next outing at Sandown Park, finishing fifth. However, at Cheltenham Festival he put forward an outstanding performance with Nick Scholfield in the saddle.
Paul Nicholls’ charge almost secured the win with a fine run down the stretch. He was only beaten out by his compatriot Diego Du Charmil by a head to miss out on the Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Romain De Senam was unable to sustain his high level in his first appearance at Aintree, placing down in fifth, well off the pace of the leading contenders. He found a semblance of speed at Plumpton in the Novices’ Chase but still could not conjure the magic to deliver the second victory of his career.
The five-year-old was able to end his drought without a win after seven races. His triumph came at the Novices’ Chase at the beginning of 2017 at Leicester, considered the overwhelming favourite for the event, he delivered a fine performance to secure the victory by six lengths.
However, Romain De Senam was unable to build off his success at the meet as he finished in fifth place in his next outing at Doncaster. Matters were even worse at the Silver Bowl Handicap Chase at Kempton Park, where the French horse was considered an outsider for the victory, but in the worst performance of his career conspired to finish last in a field of seven.
Whether this will deter punters going forward is unlikely, given the horse’s potential. With eyes now drifting towards the Gold Cup, Romain De Senam is the leading contender for the contest and bettors will no doubt have one eye on his price on odds comparison website Timeform as the race draws closer.
Nicholls’ charge made a slight improvement to get back to a semblance of decent form in the Red Rum Handicap Chase at Aintree. Although he was off the pace of the eventual winner Double W’s, he placed a respectable fifth out of 14 competitors.
Source: Sporting Life via Twitter
Twiston-Davies got the best out of the five-year-old in the Handicap Chase in Ayr. He managed to overcome a poor start to the race but was able to drift through the field to finish behind the winner Vaniteux. After a six-month absence from the track, Romain De Senam marked his return to action with arguably the best performance of his career at the John Ayres Memorial Handicap Chase.
The French horse took control of the race three fences from the end and was able to clinch a comfortable victory by seven lengths ahead of his nearest challenger Double Shuffle.
Romain De Senam now has the challenge of building off his triumph, although the Bay Gelding has never previously won back-to-back races. He had a decent record at Cheltenham, placing in the top three in his two appearances at the racecourse. The French horse will also face stiff competition for the title from Shantou Village and Le Prezien. Both horses will be able to mount a strong challenge for the crown – therefore Nicholls must ensure that his charge is ready for the task ahead.
The race could be the most important of Romain De Senam’s career, and it’s imperative that he is able to kick off his jump season in the perfect fashion with back-to-back victories.