Wetherby report good ground – watered – ahead of their first jumps meeting of the season although there are only forty-five horses declared for their seven-race card.
Only three go to post for the valuable Novice Chase but both Pay The Piper and Third Time Lucki (2.13) are exciting recruits to fences. The former jumped well at Perth on his chase debut, but the latter may be best suited by conditions and should make a winning debut. He certainly has the scope for fences and should enjoy the forecast ground. Trainer Dan Skelton thinks he could be one for Aintree in the spring and he is likely to be kept to the combination of good ground and flat tracks. The 5/6 with MansionBet looks fair.
Siruh Du Lac (2.48) has an excellent record fresh, and David Pipe brings his north for his seasonal reappearance. The selection – 15/8 with Boylesports – has won six times over fences but only raced three times over hurdles as a juvenile and connections have found an excellent opportunity before reverting to fences and races such as the Paddy Power Gold Cup next month.
The vote in the Bobby Renton goes to Whoshotthesheriff (3.23) who has never won first time out but has run some excellent races on his seasonal debut. The selection – 10/3 with William Hill – ran poorly on his last start at Ayr back in the spring, but he has winning form on good ground – albeit over timber – and I remember being impressed with his win at Catterick back in March. Yccs Portoverco has finished second in his last three starts but I don’t doubt his attitude and he rates a big danger.
The Peter Beaumont Memorial Handicap Chase is a belter. Across The Line is another Skelton horse making his chase debut and he, too, has the size and scope to make up into a better chaser than hurdler. He looks attractively weighted, but his lack of chasing experience may find him out in this company. I will be keeping him onside in the weeks to come and a check of the market is advised to note stable confidence.
Donald McCain’s conditional jockey Peter Kavanagh showed at Ludlow last week aboard Sea The See that he is excellent value for his claim, and, in the concluding handicap hurdle, I hope to see him make all on Constancio (5.05) who will feel he is let loose carrying just 9st 11lbs. The selection – 4s with William Hill – is back down to his last winning mark and Kavanagh can claim 10lbs as he is riding for his own stable.
Top weight Tommy’s Oscar was last seen finishing third in the Scottish Champion Hurdle, but I do believe an on-form Constancio will take some passing.
There is listed action at Bath but of more interest is the 1m 6f handicap where I hope to see Monbaher (4.50) bounce back after a three-month break. The selection – 5/2 with 10Bet – has been gelded in the interim period having finished last of five at Chester back in July although he was only beaten 5L.
I remember the selection’s only previous start on fast ground when he bounced off the Doncaster turf in the height of summer and I hope he can reproduce that form although he is 15lbs higher in the handicap. Jim Crowley goes to Kempton for a couple of rides but do note Dane O’Neill has been in the saddle for the geldings two previous wins and he keeps the mount today.
At Punchestown I feel My Mate Mozzie (1.15) can make a winning debut over hurdles for Gavin Cromwell. The selection cost over £200,000 after winning his sole point and made a winning Bumper debut for Gavin Cromwell back in April. He had a spin on the level when runner up in a Maiden at Ballinrobe in June and is an exciting prospect for his excellent and inform stable. There was 9/4 available in a place on Tuesday evenning but he is a best price of 5/4 at the time of posting.