Friday, October 10, 2008

Chepstow and Hexham

Chepstow is the location for the BBC's first televised jumps card of the season, the action starting at 1.25 with the charmingly named 'Get Your Chips @ Handicap Chase'. In a previous life this race was sponsored by Mercedes Benz and was a significant milestone in the build-up of the National Hunt season. Last year's winner Bowleaze isn't easy to catch right but I always think winning course form is a big plus at this venue. Many are returning from their summer break so fitness and/or freshness can be a problem. It's hard to be confident about Boychuk; if on form he'll be on the premises. I'll also watch with interest front running Ice Tea's performance. On a course that favours front runners, he could be competitive if his jumping stands up.

Crack Away Jack, winner of the Fred Winter juvenile hurdle at Cheltenham in March, returns in the 2.00 race and has already been the subject of plenty of column inches. He'll be popular but Alan King's Squadron catches the eye and is the selection.

Taking a short price about a Paul Nicholls runner is often a dilemma at this stage of the season when you can't be certain the yard is fully wound up. The obvious one to put up against Herecomesthetruth in the 2.35 is Twiston-Davies' Crescent Island but that one ran out last time. I'll leave this race alone.

Wake Board went into many people's notebooks when winning impressively at Bangor last tine out; he gets the vote in the 3.40.

A couple of friends are going up to Hexham tomorrow; earlier in the week I was asked to look at the card and come up with suggestions. It's not the best of cards - here are the selections with particular caution advised in the latter races.

2.15 Striking Article
2.45 Laureldean Melody
3.20 Just For Men
3.50 Shankly Bond
4.25 Youngstown
5.00 No selection
5.35 Bracken Lad.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

On the back straight for the final time Boychuk(5/1) lost his place and with it his chance. Richard Johnson did plenty of pushing and the horse stayed on again to finish a moderate fifth but this was a disappointing effort. Ice Tea opened at 20/1 and was backed in to 14/1. Sporting blinkers, he ran up with the pace and finished a respectable fourth. On balance this is probably his best piece of form to date but he still looked a little on the slow side at some of his obstacles.
The finish to the 2.00 was fought out between the two market leaders, Squadron (3/1f) and Crack Away Jack (7/2). At the weights Squadron was entitled to win this but that never looked likely as Crack Away Jack came to the front two out to win very impressively indeed. Squadron jumped to his right over the last couple of flights but connections can have no complaints as clearly the best horse won.
Some biggish bets for Wake Board (4/9f) but the money stayed in the bookies' satchels as he found little from two out to finish fourth behind Paul Nicholls' R De Rien Sivola (8/1). The Nicholls bandwagon is already in full swing with four winners at this meet.
At Hexham there were wins for Striking Article (8/11f) and Laureldean Melody (11/8f). Just For Men (9/2)was passed on the run-in by Silly Wupple(7/1), finishing second. It was downhill after that with Shankly Bond (9/1) pulled up, Youngstown (11/4f) running out of petrol two out to finish sixth and Bracken Lad (9/2jf) occupying a similar position in the bumper.