PADDOCKS PATENT (WEDNESDAY)
The only jumps meeting of the day is here at Hereford and Division I of this Novices’ Hurdle looks a decent heat.
Nicky Henderson saddles Jameson who was second on his hurdles debut at Ffos Las when travelling well but just lacked a turn of foot to go with the winner. The extra three furlongs here could see further improvement and with his family having bloodlines with Rajdhani Express you can expect him to relish further than the two miles on the last day. The hood is applied just to help him settle after being keen early on and if it does the job then receiving weight he could be the one to beat.
Preference is for Keeper Hill who is a really nice sort for Warren Greatrex. He won readily at Bangor last time and he’s penalised for that but he’s a strong stayer, so if he goes from the front he could get his rivals under the pump early on, which will play into his hands. He can be a little untidy at his hurdles but if that is ironed out then he will be going places. There is a touch of class in his pedigree and he’s showing that in his performances.
Westerndorf is also carrying a penalty for his win at Leicester two starts ago. He was looked decent in that race given how keen he was early on before going on to score. He looked immature at Newbury and may want further in time. At a bigger price is Skipthecuddles. He won a Towcester bumper when showing a likeable attitude to knuckle down to win. This looks a tough assignment for his hurdling debut but this trip should suit, and maybe further in time, so is one to keep an eye on with a reference in looking at further down the line.
Keeper Hill (WIN)
This mile handicap only has seven runners but there does look to be a standout contender for the spoils in the shape of Constantino.
He was a highly regarded last season but never really went on from winning an Ayr maiden on his second start. Since been switched to the all-weather he has been very unlucky. At Lingfield two starts ago he had early track position before losing it and when attempting route up the rail the door was slammed in his face. When the gap came he flew home all too late for second. A similar story over track and trip last time when second and looking the most likely when two furlongs out, so the cheekpieces will help him knuckle down in the finish and hopefully gain his reward.
Jim Goldie’s Testa Rossa is already somewhat of a course specialist with three wins and a third over this course and distance since been dropped back in trip. However this seven year old will need a career best. This is his 42nd start and the first time he’s been rated over 70, so he may need to find more against opponents dropping in class. In two attempts in Class 4 races he has hit the frame, so don’t rule him out all too easily.
Chevalllier has placed in big field handicaps around Chelmsford on his last three starts. He was narrowly beaten last time and is on the same mark here, so Archie Watson’s charge is a big player considering that effort came in a Class 2 and today this is a Class 4 contest. Eight starts on the all-weather but he is yet to get his head in front, but the switch to this surface may well suit. He can race keenly and in a small field they may not go the gallop he would be more suited by.
A twelve furlong handicap where I’m looking to take Snobbery on. He’s opened as favourite on the back of one win, which came in a very weak Wolverhampton maiden. He did it on the bridle but what was he up against? The horse that finished second was having his ninth start and has disappointed in a run since. He could be well treated with how cosily he won it and on handicap debut has to be respected for a very shrewd trainer in Roger Charlton, who is a good placer of his runners. But he is up against some hardened handicappers, who warrant respect in their own right.
Petite Jack has won on his last three visits to Lingfield and his win 35-days ago has been franked by Isharah finally getting a win to his name. Neil King’s charge won that race quite well on his first attempt at the trip and could overcome a 7lb rise in the weights. We know he relishes the fibresand surface and has fairly strong claims in this open race.
The two I’m looking at have cross lines in the formbook. Priors Brook won here 35-days ago when been best suited by track position off a slow gallop to beat a fast finishing Artful Rogue. Amanda Perrett’s charge came out of that second soon after to win around here and just 17-days ago ran well when fourth. I think this could be ran to suit Artful Rogue with having two pace angles in the race with Daisy Boy and Included plus the jockey booking of the excellent Hector Crouch claiming 3lb makes him look a very good price for some each-way thievery.
Artful Rogue (E/W)