We’ve teamed up with BetVictor’s Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
A decent card at Wetherby this afternoon and good ground the order of the day. The listed handicap chase over two-and-a-half-miles looks a cracker with the mare Indian Stream for the in-form Neil Mulholland yard a big player with the ground very much in her favour.
I hope there’s a good gallop as that would suit Pair Of Jacks (3.20) who gets the vote for the Malcolm Jefferson yard. The selection finished runner up in the Bobby Renton in the last meeting here earlier in the month and a 1lb rise looks fair. The selection won off a mark only 1lb lower at Cartmel back in June and he gets a narrow vote.
Abricot De L’Oasis won three times over timber for the Dan Skelton yard last season but he has to improve again now reverting back to the larger obstacles.
Cliffs Of Dover (3.55) has to give weight away all round in the listed three-year-old hurdle but he has won his last three in the manner of a smart juvenile and he can score for champion trainer Paul Nicholls.
There are some exciting recruits to the jumps game in opposition but they will have to run to a very good standard first time out if they are to lower the colours of the top-weight.
Alan King’s Master Blueyes is the most fascinating of the newcomers but he might need a bit more cut in the ground to be seen at his best.
The mare Queen’s Bay (4.30) slipped on landing and unseated Noel Fehily at the second last time and connections fit the mare with cheek-pieces for the first time in the 3m handicap chase.
I am convinced she is well handicapped at present and I will be disappointed if she doesn’t go very close if her confidence hasn’t been affected by what was an unfortunate mistake last time.
At Uttoxeter, Nightfly is looking to make it third time lucky having been just touched off in both her bumpers but she might have to settle for the silver medal again with the Ludlow bumper winner Poppy Kay (2.00) getting the vote for Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson.
The Beginners Chase is a belter with Top Notch, fifth in the Champion Hurdle, the obvious starting point for Nicky Henderson. The five-year-old ran consistently well over timber last season having finished runner up to stablemate Peace And Co in the Triumph Hurdle in 2015 but has never struck me as crying out for fences.
The same cannot be said about Le Prezien (3.45) who Barry Geraghty comes over to ride and the selection ended last season over timber finishing runner up to Yorkhill in a Grade 1 at Aintree over 2m 4f.
He might have more scope than Top Notch in what is a top-class novice hurdle that wouldn’t look out of place at the BetVictor Gold Cup meeting at Cheltenham next month.
There is a listed contest at Newmarket for juvenile fillies and Perfect Angel, second in the Mill Reef on her penultimate start, has the form in the book but I am looking forward to seeing Easy Victory (3.00) dropping back in trip having looked a non-stayer in the Fillies’ Mile last time.
The Saeed Bin Suroor-trained runner is fitted with cheek-pieces for the first time and her fast ground win on the July course back in mid-summer suggested she is no forlorn hope although I appreciate her breeding suggests this trip will be on the sharp side for her.
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