We’ve teamed up with BetVictor and Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
We have seen significant money at BetVictor for both Willie Mullins Avant Tout (16s into 12/1 fav) and Native River (16s from 14s) for next month’s Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury
The latter was a revelation at Aintree when given a very positive ride by Richard Johnson in the Grade 1 Novices’ Chase back in the spring although he strikes me as more of a National horse than a Gold Cup winner at this stage.
Hereford racecourse closed its doors, for what seemed the last time, in December 2012 but the track reopens on Thursday and stages a competitive seven-race card.
In the opener many of the top yards are represented. Chap has been a bitter disappointment since moving to Dan Skelton, Doncaster bumper winner Rather Be looks sure to run well for Nicky Henderson but I know connections think a fair bit of Bach De Clermont (2.00) who won his sole point-to-point before changing hands for £170,000 last November.
Evan Williams has given the five-year-old plenty of time to acclimatise to his new surroundings and, whilst he will get further in time, he looks sure to go close on his debut under Rules.
Colin’s Sister (2.30) failed to win in five bumper starts but she was often highly tried and finished the campaign finishing second in the Sandown listed event on Imperial Cup day.
She should appreciate today’s 2m 5f trip and is taken to make a winning start over timer for Fergal O’Brien.
The Beginners Chase is a cracker with Emerging Force and Definite Outcome (3.05) making their chase debut and preference for the Rebecca Curtis-trained seven-year-old is marginal.
The selection won a point-to-point in his native Ireland and has always been considered a useful chaser in the making.
Tim Vaughan’s string are in great form and it is possible that Boss In Boots (4.50) is very well treated at present.
The eight-year-old never won from a mark this high for Seamus Mullins but ran some excellent races in defeat from higher marks and with the Vaughan yard flying at present he must go close in another ultra-competitive heat.
You know the jumps season is just around the corner when they have their first card of the season at Exeter and the wonderfully named Pawn Star (3.30) jumped out to his right at Newton Abbot last time and the selection ought to be well served by today’s conditions.
Back on the level and Chelmsford stage an evening card on the polytrack which includes a valuable conditions event for the classic generation over ten furlongs. William Buick rides Daily Bulletin for John Gosden despite the fact that the other Godolphin runner Basem comes out on official figures. They must go close but the lightly-raced Mustajeer (7.25) can surprise them both although his ability to handle the surface must be taken on trust.
The colt was trained by Barry Hills as a juvenile and was held in some regard by the veteran Lambourn handler. He has only had one start as a three-year-old for Owen Burrows and that was back in the spring when second in the listed Feilden Stakes at Newmarket.
The winner, Ventura Storm, finished runner up in the St Leger last month and today’s additional furlong ought to suit. The selection will make up into a decent four-year-old next term but the Burrows yard are in good form and he gets the vote in a hot race for the track.
In the finale I’m looking forward to seeing Purple Raven (8.55) step up to two miles for the first time for Michael Bell.
The filly is out of the Northumberland Plater winner Juniper Girl and the hope is that the selection has inherited her mother’s stamina. A maiden after seven starts the selection ran her best race yet here when third over 1m 6f following a break and she certainly races as though staying is her forte.
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