A terrific jumps card at Wetherby to look forward to on ground which was described as good to soft at noon on Tuesday with a dry day forecast for race day.
In the 2m 4f Novices Chase Sirwilliamwallace is a novice chaser to consider off his current mark, but he would be receiving 20lbs from Champagne Well if this were a handicap and 18lbs from Shan Blue (2.25) and I just favour the latter – 11/4 with 10bet – in a hot midweek novice.
The selection won his sole point-to-point and, although he only won one of his six starts over timber, has always hinted that he would make a better chaser than hurdler. The selection was just outstayed by Redford Road first time out last season here, but he travelled like the best horse in the race and I just favour him over Jamie Snowden’s Champagne Well who may need further to be seen at his best.
The ground was too fast for Tintern Theatre to make his reappearance at Ludlow last week, but he had attracted overnight support and he is a fascinating contender in a competitive Bobby Renton Handicap. There is plenty of pace in the race and first time out may be the chance to catch Sky Pirate (4.10) who has had his wind tweaked since he last run in December and wears a first-time tongue tie today. The ew selection is 5/1 with 10bet.
The selection fell four out in the corresponding race 12 months ago when he looked to be travelling all over his field and he races from the same mark today. Storm Control has the beating of the selection on Doncaster running back in December, but the Kerry Lee trained seven-year-old may get embroiled in a battle for the lead with Almazhar Garde who is another to consider in a terrific renewal of this famous race.
A market move for the four-year-old French import So Easy Way would be worth noting in the 2m handicap chase, but I hope it is a good day for the Skeltons’ and hope to see Harry deliver Amoola Gold (5.15) fast and late. The selection failed to win in four starts last term, but he ran some good races in defeat and I felt he was an unlucky loser over the minimum trip at Newbury back in February from a 3lbs lower mark. The each way selection is 9/1 with Boylesports.
If Proschema (5.45) is still rated 128 over hurdles for the Skelton yard at the end of the season then I feel connections will be bitterly disappointed given the level of his novice form and the fact that he was rated 100+ on the flat.
The selection may have been fortunate to win over C&D back in November when Thebannerkingrebel fell at the last when going best, but he is now rated 141 and the Skelton horse finished 8L in front of Cheddleton who is now rated 135. With that in mind I do feel Proschema could be well handicapped off 128. The 9/2 with William Hill when betting opened on Monday evening was far too big and, at the time of posting, the 5-y-old is half that price at 9/4.
There is a good, listed contest for fillies and mares over 1m 6f at Bath and I hope to see Born With Pride (3.20) bounce back to form having had a slightly underwhelming three-year-old season. Tom Marquand has had a memorable season, but he is unlikely to look back on his ride on the filly in the Queen’s Vase back in June with any fondness given he chased too fast a pace and faded close home, at Royal Ascot having led two furlongs out when made favourite behind subsequent Irish Derby winner Santiago.
The filly – 11/2 with Unibet – has only had one start since when beaten 4L in a Group 2 contest at Deauville on heavy ground and she is likely to be ridden with more restraint this afternoon back up in trip. Irish raider Traisha represents Joseph O’Brien and she looks the main danger having failed to stay 2m last time. A return to 1m 6f trip will certainly suit.
Paul Nicholls has his string in tremendous form and Quel Distin (3.55) is taken to make a winning return in the extended 2m 1f contest. The selection – Evens with William Hill – finished third in the corresponding race 12 months ago from a 2lbs lower mark, but he is still thrown in on his hurdles form and he must go close with Megan Nicholls’ taking off a valuable 3lbs.