We start the day at the Welsh track and with a novice hurdle event over two mile four. This really isn’t the strongest on paper and in truth I would be amazed if One Track Mind goes off odds against. He has won his bumper and maiden hurdle at Wetherby but comes here today with the key indicator of Gavin Sheen coming as well with his boss Warren Greatrex having a seemingly endless number of favourites in novice events. Even giving a seven pound weight advantage here he should win and I would be very disappointed if not winning easily. Distance and ground shouldn’t be any concern.
Off the remainder many are truly exposed in this sphere, but I will give a good mention to the current second favourite Sidbury Hill who has some good bumper form behind Josses Hill and last time out behind another Shantou Bob. He looks a winner in waiting but I feel has bumped into one again here today.
One Track Mind (WIN)
An interesting renewal of the Pertemps qualifier to be run over two mile six, just prior to the Channel Four racing kicking off and a race which has thrown up some nice winners. Most noticeably last year when Saphir Du Rheu won this race. Home Run finished second that day and comes here again looking to go one better. He has an obvious chance for David Pipe, who is very good at placing horses, off a four pound lower mark than last year. Ran a credible race last week finishing third behind Sisol and with Kieran Edgar five pound claim an added help he must have a good chance of getting in front this year.
The favourite and likely short priced is Cup Final for Nicky Henderson and AP McCoy, he screams well handicapped based on his form behind now Grade One winning hurdler Irving, however given the price and the fact he obviously has his quirks I’d be more than happy to let that one pass.
Aalim is top rated and had a busy summer, its interesting he has been brought back for this after a busy summer but that said I feel he will need the run and this could be used as a prep for some bigger handicaps down the line.
Prima Porta and Drum Valley had been chasing recently with that not really working out for either, the latter could be dangerous to the selection has he finished sixth in this last year but meets on much better terms today.
The selection however is Andy Kelly who is unexposed as a stayer and has shown he stays three miles so trip and ground will not be a concern. Richie O’Dea is an up and coming young Jockey who has won previously on this horse and runs now off a nice mark with his ten pound claim. He is taken as each way value versus the main danger Home Farm.
Andy Kelly (E/W)
While I may not win any prizes for originality with my next selection from Navan, Its The Ice I Like looks extremely well handicapped based on hurdles form and is one to keep firmly onside, currently forecast to go off around the 5/2 mark, Robert Tyners Oscar gelding was very well punted last time at Naas, suggesting a change in fortunes would be coming soon, however that day he had no luck in running. A smaller field this time and he looks sure to be fighting out the finish.
He will be receiving nearly a stone in weight from the two main challengers in this two mile four handicap chase, in the form of Smokey Joe Joe and Heavenly Brook. Both have had a run of seconds and the Irish handicapper has had his say on them.
This is much easier than the last race Its The Ice I Like ran in and should see him off the mark over fences.
Its The Ice I Like (WIN)