Another good weekend with Enquarde and Brewin’upastorm landing gambles for us at 4/1 and 3/1 respectively. First Flow was a game winner of the Clarence House Chase but, if it ever stops raining, how will he cope with spring ground? I am not convinced connections of Chacun Pour Soi will be having too many sleepless nights in the run up to the Champion Chase.
At the time of writing today’s card at Market Rasen is subject to a noon inspection of Sunday so it may be prudent to concentrate on Plumpton who are optimistic they will stage their six-race card although there is an 8am inspection.
The opener is a cracker and Natural History (1.50) lost nothing in defeat on his hurdles debut when second to a very promising horse of David Pipe over today’s C&D last month. The gelded son of Nathaniel was rated 90+ on the level when trained by Andrew Balding for Her Majesty the Queen and cost his current connections 105,000 gns at Tattersalls horses-in-training sales back in October. The selection is 11/8 with William Hill.
The mare Ahorsewithnoname won a couple on the level and a Bumper for Brian Ellison before making an excellent hurdling debut on her first start for Nicky Henderson back in November. She has won on the soft and finished placed on heavy ground on the level, but this will be the deepest ground she has encountered and preference is for the Gary Moore horse.
Hugo N Taz has had a wind operation since disappointing on his seasonal reappearance and David Pipe fits his 10-year-old in first-time blinkers today. I remember thinking he could make up into a proper staying chaser when landing the Lincolnshire National last season. A market move would be worth noting,
Echo Watt has won three of his six races over the larger obstacles and has been raised just 4lbs for scoring at Bangor-on-Dee on his latest start when he put behind a couple of moderate runs. That said if you look back at the race there were eight within two lengths of the lead coming to two out and he is short enough in the betting at 2/1.
Cheque En Blanc is a dour stayer who will love these attritional conditions but the ew vote goes to I See You Well (2.50) who has dropped to a mark 5lbs lower than when scoring over today’s C&D back in December 2018. He has been out of sorts for a couple of seasons now but has been lightly raced and hinted at a return to form when beaten 10L over an inadequate trip on his return from a 12-month lay-off. The opening 7/1 at William Hill was too big and he is 9/2 with 10bet at the time of posting.
There is plenty of stamina in the pedigree of Zhiguli (3.20) and I hope to see him improve for the step up to an extended 3m in the handicap hurdle for Gary Moore. The selection – 9/4 with BetVictor – was staying on all the way to the line when second at Taunton 2m 3f from a 2lbs lower mark last time and he is the half-brother to a couple of winners over 3m 2f. Niall Houlihan takes off a valuable 6lbs.
Clondaw Robin would be a poignant winner for Andy Irvine who took over the reins following the sad passing of his partner Zoe Davison earlier in the month. He must go close, but En Coeur (3.50) meets nothing of the calibre of High Up In The Air this afternoon and is taken to go one better than when second over C&D last time under Sean Houlihan. The 11/4 with 10bet looks fair.
At Kempton this evening, I hope to see Morlaix (7.15) build on the promise of his third at Chelmsford in a 6f Maiden returning from a 420-day absence. David Simcock’s 4-year-old -10/3 with BetVictor – looks sure to appreciate today’s additional furlong although his draw in stall eight – of 10 – is less than ideal.
Love Destiny is 6lbs higher than when scoring over C&D earlier in the month and is now 3 from 3 over this evening’s 7f trip. Richard Kingscote keeps the ride, and he represents a big danger from stall one given he was rated much higher than tonight’s mark in the past.