We kick off todays Sunday action later on in the day as we start in Wales at a course that is better known for its National Hunt action than flat racing. Needless to say however Chepstow still knows what they’re doing when it comes to decent racing and I hope todays action doesn’t disappoint.
A class six handicap is what I have opted to tackle and an open looking contest it seems to be.
One of the favourites Peak Storm tries to make it two on the bounce at Chepstow after winning here on its last outing. The horse has done brilliantly at the course with two wins and a second in its last three races all coming here. A drop down to seven furlongs shouldn’t be a major concern but a rise of eight pounds seems high enough and in a better looking race that may just take its toll on the six year old.
Another horse that has to enter equations is the lightly raced four year old The Reel Way. A decent looking fourth over course and distance last time out looks a good prep run for this race today and with improvement likely to come it has a good chance of finishing in the places but as with the favourite may find one or two too good.
The market principle as it stands is trained by Andrew Balding and ridden by Liam Keniry. Royal Normandy looks to capture three turf wins in a row after successful outings at Sandown and Leicester respectively. As with Peak Storm however a hike in the weights may be its undoing and at a price of around 5/2 seems too short a betting prospect.
Bountybeamadam is one of only two course and distance winners to be entered and the George Baker trained five year old may have been running with this race in mind. The horses record at Chepstow is three wins and one place from six outings and if you look at just course and distance form it is two wins and a place from three starts. That sort of form at the venue has to be respected and now that the mare runs from ten pounds less than its last winning mark it has a great chance at a big price.
Heading over to the Roodee for the fourth race on the card from Chester.
A seven and a half furlong class three handicap greats the eleven entries that make the line up today.
The current market leader is Keith Dalgleish’s Sound Advice. The horse is given the very advantageous draw in stall one and comes into this on the back of a decent second placed finish last time. In form jockey of the moment Phillip Makin takes the reigns and the horse has an obvious chance. My only concerns however is that considering its short price the horse hasn’t won in its last five outings and I think there’s much better value elsewhere.
Lively dangers to my selection would be Instant Attraction and Character Onesie who both have course winning form but their less than helpful draws don’t aid their chances.
The horse I’m plumping for is Apostle, a horse that won this race last year from the same handicap mark. Now that headgear is reapplied it has to have a great chance coming from the David Simcock yard and for an owner who loves a winner at Chester.
We end as with the previous race at Chester. I must confess of the three this is the one I have found the toughest to select from with many of the nine runners putting up consistent performances recently.
Personally I am a huge fan of jockey George Baker and keep a keen look out for any of his rides. He is booked to ride top weight Salmon Sushi for David Lanigan and when trainer and jockey team up it tends to be a lethal force. However the horse is yet to win on the turf and still sits six pounds higher than its only success. Although it wouldn’t be too much of a shock to see it finish as one of the main protagonists it would have to have improved some way to claim top spot.
The runner that looks to put up the biggest challenge to my selection is Interconnection. The Ed Vaughan yard have had a 20% strike rate over the past two weeks and top jockey Oisin Murphy takes the ride. The four year old now sits just four pounds higher than its last winning mark and looks to do well here.
My selection, as with my other two today, currently sits at a double figured price. Trainer John Best is another trainer that has been doing quite well recently and sends four year old Berrahri into this. The horse has been relatively consistent without picking up a win but may have sneaked into this from a decent weight and could have enough to potentially cause an upset.