There is the possibility of a light shower at Ludlow this afternoon where their ground was described as good to soft on Wednesday morning.
Somekindofstar will be a short price to win his third race from his last four starts in the 2m 4f handicap chase, but he has been raised 10lbs for his fluent win at Leicester last time and this is a better race. I thought Tom Scudamore gave Black Op a terrific ride in the Gold Cup and there is a big race to be won with the horse dropped back in trip. Scudamore rides Rock On Rocco (2.15) in the same Roger Brookhouse colours and he is taken to gain a first win over fences for the inform Tom George.
The selection – 5s with MansionBet – was always on the back foot after an early mistake at Huntingdon last time, but he has been dropped a couple of pounds for that effort. I thought he was an unlucky loser at Kempton back in the autumn when he was interfered with at the start and was intimidated across the last three fences with the winner Fairway Freddy jumping left across him as he tried to challenge. He has the scope to make up into a better chaser and he represents an each way alternative to the warm favourite.
Checkitout did us a favour at Southwell last time and he may well have won over today’s C&D but for coming down four out here back in November. I was not convinced it was the most suitable track for this big horse, however, and I feel the outsider of four King Of Realms (3.15) can take the feature for Ian Williams.
The selection – 15/2 with William Hill when betting opened but 6s with BetVictor at the time of posting – has not been at his best over jumps so far this term but bounced back to form in a Jumpers’ Bumper last time and has dropped to a mark 5lbs lower than when last successful over fences. Ian Williams has his string in very good form at present – Hydroplane will go well earlier in the card if more amenable to restraint – after a slow start to the campaign.
Copain De Claisse is a fascinating contender in the Hunter Chase returning from a 754-day lay-off for leading connections and trainer Paul Nicholls – who admits he backed Harry Cobden at 50s for the Jockey’s title – is going all out to get his man across the line. He is only nine and could be a real force in these races going forward. On this occasion I just favour the chance of Capitaine (4.15) who gave the outside up to nobody when weak in the betting at Wincanton on his reappearance. I hope to see the grey – who used to be in the care of Nicholls – ridden more prominently with that run under his belt. The selection is 5/2 with 10Bet.
At Chepstow Goodnight Charlie bounced back to form at Warwick last time and is very well treated on her best form in the handicap chase run over the Welsh National distance. That run was less than a fortnight ago, however, and I just favour I See You Well (2.07) who has been put up 5lbs for finishing runner up at Wincanton on soft ground last time. All conditions come alike to the selection – 3s with Boylesports – who would have been a confident pick at his beloved Plumpton.