Champagne To Go can make up for disappointment
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We’ve teamed up with BetVictor to preview the day’s racing.
Lingfield stage a valuable Veterans Handicap Chase over 2m 4f and my two against the field are As De Fer making his seasonal reappearance for Anthony Honeyball under regular pilot David Noonan and Wings Of Smoke (3.10) with marginal preference for the grey who runs off the same mark as when runner up at Musselburgh last time. That represented a welcome return to form for Tim Vaughan’s 11-year-old who has won from a mark 11lbs higher in the past than he runs off this afternoon.
Champagne To Go (1.40) was well backed at Uttoxeter only nine days ago and is surely better than she showed on that occasion for Kim Bailey who wastes little time getting this soft ground Bumper winner back on track.
Having also won a point-to-point in her native Ireland she is surely better than she has shown so far over timber and gets the vote with Tom Scudamore in the saddle.
Jaunty Inflight ran well over timber having his first start for Dr Richard Newland at Exeter earlier in the month and must have every chance of going one better reverting to the larger obstacles with Daryl Jacob taking over in the saddle. The seven-year-old has yet to win over the larger obstacles, however, and Leglock Luke (2.10) gets the vote for inform trainer Colin Tizzard who fits cheek-pieces on the six-year-old for the first time.
The selection was well supported at Plumpton last time and the handicapper has dropped him a further 4lbs. Another former point-to-point winner it is fair to say that connections believe him to be well treated at present.
Southwell must pass a precautionary 7.30am inspection and, providing the card gets the go ahead, then I’d be very sweet on the chances of Salto Chisco (1.25) following-up his recent Fakenham success from just a 4lb higher mark in the opener.
The selection made it second time lucky for the Harry Whittington yard and a series of promising efforts for former handler Oliver Sherwood and looks to be improving with every start over fences. The eight-year-old has won two of his six starts over the larger obstacles but remains relatively unexposed and gets the nod to gain a third chase success.
I was impressed by the manner of the recent chase success of Fly Home Harry (12.55) at the track and can’t see a 5lb rise at the weights stopping him from following-up under regular partner Paul Moloney.
The selection travelled well before staying on strongly to win a competitive course and distance handicap two weeks ago and looks well-placed to go in again for the in-form yard of Alan Swinbank.
The pair must go close with Big Water (2.00) in the 3m Handicap Hurdle, bidding to give weight and a beating to his four unexposed rivals.
The selection was rated as high as 140 after a series of impressive chase efforts the season before last and drops down to 0-120 company for the first ever time and looks well-placed to give a good account from a revised career-low mark of 120.
Royal Village is a fascinating debutant for the in-form yard of Philip Hobbs, making his rules debut after falling in his sole effort between the flags in the spring. He has man of the moment Richard Johnson in the plate but I’m keen to give Al Shahir (3.30) another go after an excellent second on debut last month at Carlisle.
Dan Skelton’s well-bred gelding chased home a smart one of Malcolm Jefferson’s but should benefit from the experience and gets the nod to land the finale under Harry Skelton.
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