Geordie Des Champs can go one better at Warwick
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Warwick are optimistic of beating the recent cold snap and, at the time of writing, there is no inspection planned for their cracking jumps card later this afternoon.
Having backed One For Arthur and Kaki De La Pree (3.35) earlier in the week for the Classic Chase I feel underfoot conditions are likely to be more to the advantage of the Tom Symond’s trained runner who gets the each way vote at 8/1 with BetVictor.
The selection has had just the one start this season at Bangor last month when the stable were going through a quiet spell. Under the steadier of 11st 12lbs, he ran a cracker to finish second although the handicapper has raised him 2lbs for that excellent comeback.
This will be the ten-year-old’s first run beyond an extended 3m but I have always thought he would come into his own given a real test of stamina and I will be disappointed if he doesn’t run a big race.
One For Arthur runs in a first-time tongue-tie and ran an extraordinary race at Aintree in the Becher Chase last time when he looked likely to be pulled up after not having a cut at his fences in the early part of the race. The fact that he ended the race just 3l away back in fifth is a huge testimony to the horse’s ability but marginal preference is for Kaki De La Pree.
In the 2m Handicap Chase Overtown Express (1.15) ran well in, arguably, a better race at Ascot last time on his chase debut and is entitled to come on for the experience. The recommendation has the scope to jump a fence, and did win a point-to-point when trained by Richard Barber before joining Harry Fry.
The ground may have gone against Irish raider Peregrine Run in the Neptune trial and I hope to see Geordie Des Champs (3.00) go one better than when just failing to land a gamble at Newbury over the Christmas period. This is a wide-open contest and there is plenty of pace in the race, which should suit the selection.
In the week when Jockey Club Racecourses announced plans to sell off Kempton Park for housing it is perhaps ironic that they stage a cracking jumps card at the home of the King George today.
Always On The Run will appreciate the return to a right-handed track but he must give 4lbs to Ericht (12.55) and that might be too much for the Tom George runner. The selection ran a terrific race at Kempton last time, albeit in veteran company and this dual course winner should be well served by conditions this afternoon.
Vaniteux (2.05) has not hit the heights expected of him over fences so far this term but he gets the vote in the fascinating four-runner listed chase.
Activial has left Harry Fry since his last run and joined Neil Mulholland – he remains a horse of some potential and he gets weight from his three rivals but the Henderson runner will appreciate today’s conditions although I wouldn’t want the ground to turn heavy.
In the Lanzarote Hurdle, Jaleo must go close if he stays, but that is a big if and I think there is a big race in Will O’The West (16/1 with BetVictor). The vote, however, goes to Lord Of The Island (2.40) who must have leading chance for Fergal O’Brien and can reward each way support at 10/1.
The selection was just getting competitive when coming down three out at Exeter last time and the winner has subsequently won again from a 7lbs higher mark.
At Fairyhouse tomorrow, I hope to see Ball D’Arc (2.30) land the valuable handicap chase over the minimum trip for Gordon Elliot. The selection was unlucky not to win at Leopardstown off this mark last time and he can give the yard another big handicap chase winner – he looks a fair price at 12/1 with BetVictor to run a big race.
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