Good ground at Uttoxeter with the executive watering to maintain.
Only five go to post for the novices’ limited handicap chase over an extended 2m 6f but it is an absolute cracker.
Kinondu Kwetu has won his three chase starts and is arguably five from five over fences having won his two points before embarking on a modest season over hurdles. He invariably doesn’t win by far which has enabled him to keep in front of the handicapper and he looked to have plenty more to offer when scoring at Southwell last time off a 7lbs lower mark.
He has been put in at 13/8 on the opening show and that might be on the short side given he faces four unexposed challenges including MUMBO JUMBO who represents the stable of Emma Lavelle. Lavelle saddled the winner of the corresponding race in 2014 and allowed Killer Clown to take his chance in the race two years ago when he was bumped and unseated at the second.
The each way selection is the outsider of the field having opened up at 6/1 and I always hoped he would make a better chaser than hurdler. His best form came with a bit of cut in the ground over hurdles but his fourth in Sandown’s valuable novices’ handicap hurdle on Imperial Cup day is very good form.
The 6-y-old has had his wind tweaked and is fitted with a tongue-tie for the first time this afternoon and receives weight from his four rivals. He is bred to make a chaser, has the scope for fences and the stable are in decent form.
Recommendation: Mumbo Jumbo EW at 11/2 with William Hill
COPPER COIN has an excellent record fresh and won first time out over today’s C&D last season from a 6lbs lower mark. Trainer Michael Scudamore did us a favour with Some Chaos at Chepstow last Friday and I hope to see brother Tom gain a fourth success on the nine-year-old although he has never won from a mark in the 130s.
Pounding Poet is 5lbs better off with Geordie Des Champs for the length he was behind that rival in the summer and he is suggested as the main danger to the selection in a race which may not take too much winning.
Recommendation: Copper Coin at 6/4 with William Hill
TEA FOR FREE was a moderate maiden hurdler but left his form over the smaller obstacles well behind when dotting up at Huntingdon on his chase debut back in May. The selection has been raised 7lbs for that success – nine if you include Lily Pinchin’s claim dropping from 5lbs to 3lbs – but he this winning pointer looked a natural over fences back in the spring and the Charlie Longsdon yard are in excellent form.
This is another hot handicap chase for the time of the year with Representing Bob, Bretney and Midnight Glance all respected. That said I will be supporting Tea For Free until he meets with defeat.
CAWTHORNE was no match for Mordred at Sedgefield last time, but the selection met trouble in running on more than one occasion and he is taken to bounce back and gain a fourth success over fences since the end of May.
Sea Prince and Rose Sea Has both like to lead and will ensure a decent gallop. The hope is that they cut each other’s throat up top and allow Cawthorne to pick up the pieces in receipt of plenty of weight from his market rivals.
Recommendation: Cawthorne at 7/4 with William Hill
There is a £30,000 chase at Fakenham and SHETLAND BUS escapes a penalty for scoring at Stratford last week under today’s conditional and is taken to follow up from the foot of the weights for Dr Richard Newland whose string have hit top form in recent days.
The selection would be carrying 5lbs more if this race were run from Saturday onwards and his previous third to Kinondu Kwetu at Uttoxeter was another excellent effort. That was his first start in cheekpieces and the 9-y-old has certainly improved for the application of the aid.
This is a much better race than the one Shetland Bus won earlier in the month, and he has never won over three miles under rules, but he wasn’t stopping over 2m 6f+ last time and should get the extra distance.
Recommendation: Shetland Bus at 3/1 with William Hill