Sports Advisor First Paddock Report 6th December 1999
Sandown staged a fine two day card on the weekend and although lacking runners on the Friday there were some class acts on show.
Looks Like Trouble trained by Noel Chance is the ‘Young Pretender’ for the Blue Riband at Cheltenham in March and his appearance before the Bovis Chase would have had his supporters in raptures.
A sleek classy sort, to compare him with most other Chasers is to liken a Rolls Royce to a bunch of Dump Trucks. Although jumping big early on, he then honed his skills and jumped with efficiency as the race proceeded.
He will take the world of beating in the King George at Kempton prior to a crack at the Big One.
RFO 21st Dec 1999
Looks Like Trouble who has the potential to win this prestigious prize before going on to prove himself at the Cheltenham Festival.
Noel Chance has a worthy successor to his Blue Riband victor Mr Mulligan in this Royal and Sun Alliance winner but whereas the former was a huge ‘orange thing’ Looks Like Trouble is a much sleeker version of a racehorse being a most attractive well made sort who would not look out of place at Royal Ascot.
After finishing second in a maiden Point to Point in Ireland he ran fifth to Brother of Iris in his first foray over hurdles and failed to score before switching to the major obstacles.
After a couple of hairy efforts he won his first race at Doncaster jumping well and confirmed his sure footedness by winning at Sandown before scoring at the Festival. His victory at Cheltenham was devalued by the fall of Nick Dundee but he beat the rest fair and square. Looks Like Trouble is a class act and can win well.
RFO 11th Jan 2000
Over at Wincanton Looks Like Trouble will contest the John Bull Chase only if the ground is good. Heavy rain stopped him in his tracks in the King George and the Mole is still a big fan. If the going is on top the coffers will be divested in the Gold Cup for this superb individual.
RFO 1st Feb 2000
The Mole is not one to let life’s slings and arrows get in the way of a good time but the festivities over the Christmas and Millennium were definitely dampened by the demise of Looks Like Trouble in the King George Chase at Kempton and a pall hung over the burrow.
Post race reports filtered back to the roost that the horse “had not gone a yard” on the testing surface and that the run was best forgotten.
While that view was backed up by assertions from trainer Noel Chance that the horse was sound in wind and limb, what was needed was a performance that left no doubts that the horse was fully functioning in all departments and this was confirmed in no uncertain terms on Saturday.
At Cheltenham the son of Zaffaran made ample amends by winning in exhilarating fashion. Making all the running his fencing skills were simply breathtaking and for a while it looked as if he were preparing for the Champion Hurdle rather than the Gold Cup as he left seasoned chasers in his wake.
Pilot Norman Williamson was modest enough to ascribe the fright at the last to jockey error as he wanted to play safe but the horse had other ideas and the hiccup was due to crossed wires between the pair. There will be no doubts when the dazzling duo come to the last in the Blue Riband itself.
The column mentioned before the King George that this superb individual would not look out of place in the paddock at Royal Ascot and it was interesting to hear connections state that they thought he possessed more speed than Mr Mulligan.
Rumour had it that there were some individuals prepared to pick holes in Saturday’s performance. If so let us hope the same souls have the bottle to back their opinion by laying the horse at the biggest price for the Gold Cup.
Moley will be first in the queue.
RFO 14th March 2000
You can forget the Olympics, the World Cup, the FA Cup, the Millennium Celebrations and Crufts, its Cheltenham week for Racing fans and the world can wait for the next three days.
If looks could kill they probably will in the Cheltenham Gold Cup when the Noel Chance trained Looks Like Trouble attempts to conquer the last frontier on his programme.
Doubts about the going being too soft have been put to rest and this outstanding looking individual can add to the emphatic victories gained over course and distance on his last two appearances at the venue.
A winner of the Sun Alliance last year he has yet to get the full credit for that win and put a disappointing display in the King George behind him with an emphatic display of fencing in the Pillar Chase and again won by a distance which put him back in contention for the Blue Riband.
Moley has never been tempted to scan beyond Looks Like Trouble this year and the champers is on ice in the burrow in expectation of a fine win
I think I headlined this horse 4 times during the campaign leading up to his winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He looked like a Rolls Royce and won like one!