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Record of the blog selections

Profit for the 2016-17 Jumps Season = £84.38

from wagers on 26 individual selections (4 winners, 6 placed)

Total Staked = £280.00


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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

So close (from Junction Fourteen) but no cigar!

We came close to pulling-off one helluva coup yesterday when my "early thoughts" advice Junction Fourteen led almost all the way until headed by the eventual winner Antony just before 2-out.
I did think then that our selection was about to be swamped but, no, he stayed-on in game style and held on the 2nd place. Hopefully, you all got on at odds of 18/1 at least (he was 20/1 with a lot of bookies from around 11am till  3pm) but he never looked like a long-shot to me. This trip (perhaps) just found Junction Fourteen out, and he might just be a "Bet Victor" Gold Cup (was the old Paddy Power) horse at Cheltenham on 12th November - if he were entered!
The winner Antony went on my alert list after winning his chase debut at Sandown last December when he looked to hold a lot of potential. Looking back, perhaps I underestimated that effort, but then he pulled-up NTO, found 2-miles too short at Kempton in March, and was 3rd behind Junction Fourteen at Sandown on 23April over 2m4f when he looked to be staying-on. I thought that Junction Fourteen held him on that form, but the step up to 3-mile benefited Antony more than Junction Fourteen and he was a 10lb better horse at this trip yesterday - something which even took his trainer Gary Moore by surprise judging by his reaction afterwards.

My other selection in the race, Tea For Two, sweated-up badly beforehand for his first run since February, and this was (remember) only his 4th chase race and the fastest ground he'd encountered as a chaser.  He was bang there with 3 to jump, having jousted for the lead with Junction Fourteen throughout and it was probably a combination of the ground, the weight (he had 11st 12lb) and that it was his first run off a long break that did for him. I had this run about 9lb below his effort (when race-fit) in winning the old "Feltham" novice chase at Kempton on Boxing Day. He beat Southfield Royale that day - who ran 4th as the 5/1 fav for the 4-mile NH Chase at Cheltenham NTO - and Native River - who ran 2nd at 7/1 in the same race at Cheltenham, and then won the Grade 1 novice chase at Aintree ending-up rated OR 154 as a chaser (and I rate him a lot higher than that!). I'd have thought Tea For Two was perfect for the Hennessy Gold Cup to be run on 26th November, but he doesn't appear to be entered (yet).

My overall reading of this race was (in my opinion) just about spot on.
The fav Saphir Du Rheu was a false one, with his form of last season in no-way suggesting he was a handicap "blot". His trainer Paul Nicholls reckoned beforehand that the horse was "fat" and while he may come on for the run, he's never improved for racing before in his career and, judged on his effort yesterday, the handicapper has him about right at OR152 as a chaser. He may be improved should he drop down half-a-mile in trip for the renamed "BetVictor" Gold Cup on 12th November.
The 7yo A Good Skin looked to find the pace of this 3-mile trip too quick, and (as I wrote yesterday) I think he needs another quarter-mile or more. A very safe jumper of a fence, with a good cruising speed and a prominent runner to boot - he has "Grand National winner 2017" written all over him. Another to take out of the race was the 7yo Fourth Act (trained by man of the moment, Colin Tizzard) who was staying-on well in the final mile on his first attempt at a 3-mile trip. He will also appreciate softer ground, and he could be one to follow NTO if the word "soft" is in the going description.

Before I go on, there is no selection today as I looked at the Class 3, 3m2f handicap chase at Carlisle (we had the winner in the race last year, advised at 12/1 Vintage Star won with an SP of 7/2 ) and I cannot see anything winning this race other than Belmount or In The Rough, who are joint-favs at 9/2. Something may come out of the others in the race, for instance Kilbree Chief has potential as a marathon horse (and Carlisle is a stiff track), and the 7yo Askamore Darsi should come on a lot for his recent close 3rd to the 11yo Carrigdhoun; but the market looks about right to me.

The Charlie Hall Chase result was a strange one to decipher.
Irish Cavalier (who eventually won) took-up the lead too early at the 3rd-last fence and was running on empty for the last quarter-mile. He's not a Grade 1, 3-mile chaser and never will be having been well exposed at that grade in last years King George at Kempton (btn 39-lengths) and Cheltenham Gold Cup (btn 22 lengths). As such, to measure the worth of the form, I've looked to runner-up Menorah who at least we know stays 23f to the best of his ability, and has been running at his peak all summer, winning at 2m6f at Sandown in April, and running well over a trip beyond him in June. I've rated Menorah at 160, which puts Irish Cavalier at 157 and Cue Card on 158.
I cannot see either of Irish Cavalier or Menorah winning the Betfair Chase next month, and, unless there was a good excuse, I can't see Cue Card finding the 12lb of improvement from yesterdays run to win it either. I was happy with the performance of my selection VIRAK who gave his usual battling, game performance on ground that was much too quick for him.  We will see a much better run on softer ground and Virak is one of a very strong hand of entries for the Hennessy Gold Cup for which he is available at 33/1.  Although he was behind Blaklion (16/1 for the Hennessy) yesterday, Virak wasn't pushed hard in the final half-mile and I'm confident that he will turn the tables NTO.

Looking to the Betfair Chase (to be run at Haydock on 19th November), with Cue Card looking dodgy, and Coneygree only running if the rains come (and it will be his first run in 12 months), it may pay to take the odds on one of Willie Mullins horses Djakadam or Vautour at 7/1 and 12/1 with Paddy Power respectively. Should one of them make the trip over, and there is no reason why they shouldn't, I can them being under 3/1 on the day. The Betfair Chase betting market is on the verge of collapse, the Grade 1 staying chasers division has no depth, it is held together by if's and maybe's. When you think there are some who consider that Thistlecrack should go for the Betfair Chase - which would be only his 2nd chase race - that shows you how little depth there is. As such, I can see the canny Irishman Mullins, sending over one, or maybe two, of his stable stars to Haydock for this major prize - and with the £1 million bonus on offer it has to be VAUTOUR.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby

A busy day ahead but, first, a brief look at yesterdays selection Abricot De L'Oasis. As I expected, he was well supported and touched 2/1 before settling at 5/2. Unfortunately, he found nothing when asked which suggests he was unfit but, I suspect, it may be something more was amiss. Luckily (for me) as soon as I saw he was beaten I lumped on Indian Stream in-running at 4.20 (3/1) and she did the business. As I wrote in the blog, she was the "danger" and went on to win well. This is why I provide a narrative - so that readers can take advantage of developments during the day and during the race. So please, don't just go straight to the selections, read the narrative.

Ascot hosts a tremendous meeting and the opening race is a cracker of a novice chase handicap. I have a soft-spot for Paul Nicholls San Benedeto, but this ground will be too quick for him. Another on my alert list is Ballybolley, and he won LTO just 10-days ago and looks well handicapped. With chasing debutant Crimson Ark best watched today, and Master Dee (another LTO winner) possibly wanting further than this 2m3f, Ballybolley @ 4/1 in this 6-runner race may be the best option.

The 2:25pm 2-mile handicap (Listed) chase looks wide-open to me. The market leaders Yorkist and Pearls Legend both look vulnerable and weighted to their best, as such there is no value in their odds. There is only one runner from my alert list in the race, and that is Germany Calling. This horse won LTO over 2m4f but he does have the speed for this trip and will love the ground. His trainer Charlie Longsdon did us a favour last weekend with Coologue, and also sent Pendra to win on this card last year (and we were on). At odds of 10/1 Germany Calling looks an interesting eachway wager (quarter-odds 1,2,3).

I will give the handicap hurdle a miss and move on to the 3:35pm  Sodexo (Grade 3) Class 1, 3-mile handicap chase revolves around the early fav Saphir Du Rheu: was his win at Aintree back in April 2015 as good as it looked? If it was, then he's home and hosed; if (as I suspect) it wasn't then his supporters will be in for a rude shock.
Going right-handed at speed in these top handicap chases takes some doing and, if a horse cannot handle the bends, any weakness will soon be exposed.  It would seem that after the success of Pendra last year (readers of the blog were on Pendra @ 8/1) trainers have decided that a decent 2m5f horse (like Pendra) is best suited to this sharp 3-mile at Ascot. However, this year there are a couple of "proper" 3-milers in the race who may upset that particular apple cart.
I have several of these runners on my alert list: including Tea For Two, A Good Skin, Antony and Junction Fourteen. The Emma Lavelle trained Junction Fourteen is an interesting horse over this trip as it could expose any stamina limitations.  He's won 3 of his 6 chase races, 2 of which were going RH and 2 were on "good" ground including when smashing a decent field at Sandown over 2m4f in April this year. He made-all that day and he goes onto my shortlist - it will take a good one to beat him. He holds Antony in my book, and Antony will find easier targets than this. On Friday eve he was 20/1 - odds which were an insult - and I I expect him to be in the 1st-3 home, his odds are tumbling.  I like A Good Skin, he did us proud a few weeks back when 3rd on his seasonal debut, and he always runs a good race. I feel I know him well, and therefore I think he wants just a couple of furlongs more than this trip, which is actually 40 yards short of 3-mile. That said, we know he goes well RH and he enjoys a strong pace, he just hasn't shown any "zip" recently at the business end in his races to win.
I thought Tea For Two was a potential RSA winner when he won at Kempton on Boxing Day (the race formerly known as the "Feltham") which was only his 2nd chase race.  He ran again after that when 3rd at Sandown over 2m4f, a trip that was inadequate. He looks unexposed, and possessing huge potential, and I think he's at leave 5lb well-in running off OR153. He does have to carry 11st 12lb and give weight to every other runner in this handicap but if he's a potential Gold Cup winner then he can do it. I think a strong run race will expose the stamina limitations of Voix D'eau who is another from my alert list. I'm expecting Tea For Two to win today and the 5/1 available looks generous for a horse with his potential. However, I also cannot ignore the 18/1 (Stan James) available on Junction Fourteen and I advised those on my email list to take that eachway last night (Corals go 20/1).

At Wetherby we have the feature Class 1 (Grade 2) Charlie Hall Chase over 3-miles.  Can Cue Card resume where he left off and win? Maybe he can but, at odds-on of 8/11 he will not be carrying my money. I advised those on my email list on Wednesday to take the 16/1 about VIRAK for this, and he's 11/1 now. Why VIRAK - because at the weights he is the 2nd best in the race behind Cue Card, for instance he is 2lb better than Blaklion on official ratings, and carries 5lb less than him. If Blaklion is a 6/1 chance, surely VIRAK should be shorter odds as he holds a 7lb advantage over Blaklion? The trip will be perfect, as will a strong pace. There is a debate over the ground, but if Nicholls runs the horse then he should cope.

There is also a meeting at Ayr where there is a Class 3 handicap chase over 2m4f at 4:20pm. Throthehatch always held potential to be a 125+chaser once he sorted his jumping out, and he will go well off OR116.  However, FINAL ASSAULT looks very well handicapped on the best of his form from this time last year, and the horse loves racing at Ayr. This trip and ground is perfect for him and at 7/1 in this 6-runner race, FINAL ASSAULT should be in the 1st-2. If we are ahead at this stage of the afternoon, I will be having a wager on FINAL ASSAULT.

Selections
Very tricky making selections today as I don't want to give readers a hand-full of wagers.
Wetherby 3:20pm, VIRAK, £5 eachway @ 11/1 (available generally, quarter-odds a placed 1,2)
Note: I will measure against the 16/1 I advised taking on Wednesday

Ascot 3:35pm TEA FOR TWO, £5 each way  @ 5/1 (available generally, quarter-odds a place 1,2,3)
Ascot 3:35pm JUNCTION FOURTEEN, £5 eachway @ 18/1 (Stan James, Bet Victor and Coral)

Total staked £30

Friday, 28 October 2016

The weekend starts here

Yesterday, I did everything bar tip the winner in the Durham National at Sedgefield.

It was a tricky race, and the fav duly flopped (almost certainly due to the ground being too quick).  It was one of those races that you wanted to tell everyone what to put their money on after they had run a mile of the 3m4f trip. Buachaill Alainn looked an almost certain winner a long way out (when Ready Token blundered away his lead at the 16th of 24 fences) - yet was still available at around 5/1 in-running on the exchanges. He has probably been aimed at this race since the summer by his canny trainer Peter Bowen. Don't read too much into this race though as, I wrote yesterday, there was no depth to this race at all and this form may not be worth much going forward.

I know a few readers of the blog placed their faith on the horse and were rewarded, well done to you!

Before we move on from Thursdays racing, a word for DOING FINE who ran a good race to be 2nd in the 3m2f hurdle on ground that was certainly too quick for him.   This should set him up well for wherever he goes next and, as I wrote yesterday, I reckon the Welsh Grand National will be his target.

Onto Fridays racing and we have a couple of meetings at Wetherby and Uttoxeter.
The feature race at Wetherby is the 2m3f (Listed) handicap chase at 3:20pm and, after missing the 11/1 about Buachaill Alainn on Wednesday evening I'm a bit gutted that Abricot de L'oasis is only at 5/2 as I write.  Pair Of Jacks is a safe jumper of a fence but almost certainly wants 3-mile these days, and was beaten for speed at this trip LTO. The 9yo Theatre Guide is using this race as a springboard for the season, as he did last season when he was 3rd. However, this time last year he ran off OR140 and now, after winning over 3-mile at Kempton in February, he runs off OR149. He needs 3-mile (and to be at his peak) to win off that rating.
More interesting is the mare Indian Stream but whether she will be good enough off her current rating is debateable. She does not have the stamina for 3-miles, and she looked flattered by the margin of victory of her win over 2m5f in June.  She will need to run very well to win this giving 16lb to ABRICOT DE L'OASIS. 
The 7yo Degooch is another thoroughly exposed horse and the more I look at the race the more that the fav looks the most likely winner. Is he value? Given this will be a seasonal debut run over fences after a season of hurdling, odds of 11/4 are probably about right.  However, we do know he can jump a fence as he won 3 of his 5 novice chase in April/May 2015 (he fell in the last of those races and was transferred out of the Donald McCain stable to Skelton).

Looking at the formbook, I'm fairly confident that ABRICOT DE L'OASIS will be rated much higher than OR127 by the end of this season so (for me) the question is more of fitness than ability and trainer Dan Skelton does pride himself on ensuring that his horses are fit to run well. Three of his 9 runners have won in the past 7-days with a 2nd and 2 x 3rds amongst the other 6. There are odds of 11/4 available at BetVictor and William Hill (mainly 5/2 elsewhere) and I would expect this horse to start around the 2/1 mark today.

There is a tip-top beginners chase at Uttoxeter at 3:45pm which will be well worth watching.  No betting on this race as on paper it looks super competitive and all the runners are having their chasing debut.

I have my eye on the Saturday cards and once I know the final declarations later this afternoon I can make a few decisions.

Just the one selection today, and the Wetherby 3:20pm does look a weak race for the grade, so we are opting for the fav who looks a generous 11/4.

Selection
Wetherby 3:20pm ABRICOT DE L'OASIS, £10 win @ 11/4 (BetVictor and William Hill)

PS: since posting this at 7:30am, there has been a slight drift in the odds on Abricot De L'Oasis and 3/1 is now generally available, with 100/30 in a place (Skybet). The reason for the drift appears to be money coming in for Theatre Guide (now 7/2) but I cannot understand why (see narrative above).

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Durham National at Sedgefield

An interesting day of racing with a couple of meetings at Sedgefield and Stratford.

The day at Sedgefield opens with a 4-runner chase over 3m2f and there is only proven stayer over 3-mile as a chaser amongst the four, and that's Court Dismissed. The early 13/8 fav Jimmy The Jetplane has come 2nd in all 4 of his chase races and looks as slow as a boat over the final quarter-mile.  He has won a 3-mile hurdle which suggests he will stay todays trip, but how long will he take to finish?.
The mare Western Jo looks the least likely stayer amongst them, and the 6yp Tickenwolf has been reported in his 4 hurdle races in the region of 22f-23f as one-paced, and comes here today to contest just his 2nd chase race. He did win his chase debut but that was over 2m4f and he only just led on the line. I reckon it is a big ask on what we know of him to expect him to win this at odds of 7/4.
Whereas Court Dismissed has won a chase over 3m1f at Catterick in March and, in his races since, he two runs at trips under 3-mile suggested he wants this sort of trip. He should be fit for this as he ran 4 weeks ago over 2m4f and I think he's well handicapped as, after his win last March he was raised to OR120 and he races off OR114 today. He's 4/1 generally and 9/2 with Bet365 and it is hard for me not to see him being in the 1st-2 home.

At 3:35pm I will be looking forward to the return to the track of DOING FINE who will be having his first run for Neil Mulholland since transferring from Rebecca Curtis. The ground could be a bit lively for this horse, and it is a hurdle race (and not a chase), but the trip will be up his street, and I'm expecting this to be a perfect confidence booster before a likely attempt at the Welsh National in December. Soft ground and an extreme trip are what this horse wants so keep an eye on the result of this race.

The Durham National run at 4:10pm looks a race lacking in depth, and so it is no surprise to see last year's winner Royale Knight heading the market at 11/4. He is going for his 3rd win in the race and the only thing that may prevent him is fitness and whether he will act on the ground. Personally, although he ran 4th in the Scottish National last April, I think this ground will be too lively for him and he really wants the word "soft" somewhere in the going description. However, which of these rivals is likely to beat him?  On my own ratings I feel Ready Token has been pushed beyond his ceiling at OR131, and he also looks vulnerable to me. For the 8yo Five In A Row, this extreme trip is a step into the unknown - he may love it, but I doubt he will.  I prefer his stablemate Jac The Legend, and he will certainly stay the trip but when will he get there? If there was any horse with only one gear, it is this one. However, this extreme trip of 3m5f may be what he needs to bring out the best in him.  He would also prefer softer ground, but he has run well on "good" ground.  Of the others, the only one that catches my eye is Buachaill Alainn who was at his best this time last year when 2nd at Chepstow on similar ground, and ran well on his seasonal debut back at the same track in the same race earlier this month. He looked sure to come on for that run, and now I wish I'd taken the early odds from Bet365 last night, as he's best-priced at 9/1.

This does not look a strong race, and therefore it would come as now surprise to see Royale Knight win the race for a 3rd time. But, at odds of 11/4, there is no value in him. I was going to put up Buachaill Alainn as a selection, but it would be more speculative that measured - and we are under no pressure to place a wager.

At Stratford there is a good looking race at 4:30pm and I think the fav Gabriel The Great should prevail.  His win LTO looked very strong and though he meets No Likey on 9lb worse terms for the 8-length beating he gave him, there looked to be a lot more in the locker. I'm not convinced Johnny Og is worthy of his rating of OR132, and so the odds of 7/2 about the fav Gabriel The Great look fair to me (only BetVictor offer 7/2, he's 100/30 generally)

No selections advised today.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Terrific weekend of racing coming up

Coming up we have the first super-competitive weekend of the jump racing season coming up, with the feature race of the weekend being the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby which, although not a Grade 1 chase, looks very interesting on paper.

Alongside that we have a host of races of Class 3 and better to get stuck into and I'm hoping to find the odd "easier" target away from the main attention where the odds on the runners do not reflect the true chance. Even if we find the value, the horse still has to travel through the race unscathed and emerge as the victor at the business end, but we've had a spot of bad luck already this season and hopefully we can ride the wave.

I've already pointed those on my email list towards an entry on Saturday that looked absurdly long in the market this morning, and I notice that the odds I recommended taking have already been snapped-up and more. I'll put more about this on the blog on Saturday morning.

Tomorrow, there is the "Durham National" to be run at Sedgefield, and this could provide a wagering opportunity.  I'll be taking a look at the entries and form when the final declarations are known later this afternoon. Friday, there are a couple of interesting races at Wetherby (we found the winner of the Listed 2m4f Chase last year with Wakanda), and again I will be looking at the entries as soon as they are available to endeavour to find an angle into the race. The weather still remains abnormally dry for the time of year (October is usually a wet month) and this will likely result in the fields for races cutting-up.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Look-back at the Weekend of 21st-23rd October

A cracking weekend for followers of the blog, with 2 wins @ 8/1 and 7/1 from just 3 selections.

I must admit that I thought THIRD INTENTION would be pulled-up after he clouted the 3rd fence, but full marks to his jockey Aidan Coleman for giving the horse plenty of time to settle down before bringing him back into the race.
After he jumped the 5th-last fence I really thought we had a chance as he was motoring and, while the field was bunched at that point, I'd already seen distress signals from the riders of some of the other horses.
The race went much to plan (apart from that 3rd fence blunder) and, when you look at the performance from the 7/4 fav Three Musketeers, you have to wonder what were the punters on him basing their opinion on.
I knew Royal Regatta was well-handicapped but didn't have the soft ground he desires, and he ran a cracker, and is one to keep an eye on when the rains come. Similarly, God's Own was the 2nd-best horse in my book but was suffering from ratings inflation. I thought he ran as well as ever and this was a great trial for the Tingle Creek in December. Smad Place also ran a cracker and that run was as good - if not better - than his seasonal debut last autumn.  However, this year he will go into the Hennessey Gold Cup with a rating of OR167 and not OR155, and I just cannot see him winning the race with that rating. He's good, but he's not Denman.

Away from the main selections, there was also plenty of information providing successful wagering opportunities if you wanted to take them up. You could have layed Three Musketeers to lose in the race won by Third Intention, or at Wincanton on Sunday you could have layed the 11/8 fav I'm In Charge in the 4-runner race at 3:30pm. Even on Saturday when I concentrated on the opening race at Cheltenham there were other options that a reader of the blog could have taken from the narrative, such as laying the 5/1 fav  Henryville, or even putting a few runners from my shortlist in a combination forecast (Coologue, Keltus and say Cogry in 6 x £5 straight-forecasts would have returned £350.35 for a £30 stake).

It looks quiet for the next few days, so I will take the lapse in activity to focus on updating the alert list with any that caught my eye over the weekend, and to lay the foundations for next weeks assault on the bookies.  As we saw with Forgotten Gold in the veteran's chase on Sunday, fitness is the key at this time of year as, if a horse isn't race fit, without fitness it doesn't matter how good the horse is. 

By my calculations, the blog is showing £93.13 profit on advised stakes of £100 on 8 selections this autumn.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Finally, an 8/1 winner!

It took a little longer than expected, but we finally hit the back of the net with an 8/1 winner in COOLOGUE yesterday. It was the only selection for the blog, and it was a very welcome winner. The race went even better than I expected as several of the fancied rivals either fell (Cogry & Racing Pulse) or pulled-up (Henryville & Full Shift) early in the race. Even so, our selection was pushed all the way to the line by the 6yo Keltus who we knew was race-fit, but we also knew we had our money on the better horse. What I learned from the race-report afterwards was that Coologue had the benefit of a breathing operation during the summer and now looks almost certain to end up a 150+ rated chaser.

It is onwards and upwards now, and today we have a Sunday meeting at Aintree with the feature being the "Monets Garden" handicap chase over 2m4f. The fav as I write is the 6yo Three Musketeers @ 3/1. This horse certainly has potential to improve but, in my opinion, he will need to to beat some of these rivals. He was last seen at Cheltenham coming 4th to Black Hercules over 2m4f and I reckon the handicapper has him about right at OR152.  God's Own is next in the market, and this C&D winner - and a Grade 1 winner at that - sets a high standard. This trip suits him better than the bare 2-mile, but I believe his OR166 rating is a bit rich. I cannot understand how Vibrato Valtat is rated OR160 after a season of poor efforts, so I cannot see him winning unless he's the only finisher. We all know Sire De Grugy does not stay a yard beyond 2-mile, and Smad Place is surely using this race as a prep for another bid at the Hennessey Gold Cup in a months time. Third Intention is interesting as - if he repeats the form of his seasonal debut of November 2015 when he met Vibrato Valtat, God's Own and Sire De Grugy in  the Haldon Chase at Exeter - he will beat them all as he races off at least 10lb better terms (and 16lb better-off with God's Own). And then there is Royal Regatta, and old fav of the blog from last season, if he can run to the level of his Ascot win in Dec15 he will massacre this field.  The ground will be the key in my opinion, Royal Regatta will be better on good-to-soft, while "good" ground suits THIRD INTENTION.  The 7/1 about this horse, with the others having so many issues, looks too good to ignore. Let's hope he's fit.

Last year I looked at the veterans chase and virtually pointed to the winner without naming it. As with most veterans chases, they are dominated by 10yo's as these horses still retain most of their ability. The current fav is Double Ross but, if you are a long term reader of the blog, you know I do not think this horse is a true 3-mile chaser. He scraped home LTO and, over an extra 330 yards, he looks vulnerable. His best performance last season was when 4th in the 2m4f Paddy Power handicap and I just cannot see him winning. Some horses have stamina doubts such as Eastlake (trying 3-mile for the 1st time) Bearly Legal and Dineur. Some are just slow, like Masters Hill and Baileys Concerto. If you take out those older than 10yo, then you are left with FORGOTTEN GOLD. He won a veterans chase at Ascot last April over 3-mile, and only found one better NTO at Cheltenham over 3m2f off a 7lb higher rating of OR139. He goes well fresh, stays the trip well, handles good ground and, with 2 wins from 5 starts last season, was as good as ever when last seen. I would have him the 5/2 fav, and as he's 7/2 with most bookies he looks a fair wager.

There is a trappy 3m2f handicap chase at Wincanton at 3:30pm with only 4 runners. I do not like these small field races as they can become too tactical. However, the morning fav I'm In Charge may stay the trip but he's not (in my book) an OR120 chaser. When the handicapper put him up 15lb after winning last May (his 13th chase race) it was seriously over the top in my opinion. The mare Miss Serious will also stay this trip well enough, and split a couple of NTO winners when 2nd on 16th September at Newton Abbot. However despite falling earlier this week when racing at Exeter, providing she hasn't lost any confidence she will go close. With Gentleman Jon not looking like he can stay this sort of trip, we move to Cernunos who is on my alert list. When you look at the form of his races last season at Kempton in Feb/March over 2m4f you have to consider him a lot better than OR132. However, since coming 2nd on 19Mar16, he's only run in snatches.  Will he stay this 3m2f trip? That's debateable, as the sire is virtually unknown in the UK, and his dam has only produced one other foal, that raced on the flat as did Cernunos. It's too big an ask, even if he is the best horse in the race, and odds of 3/1 are not good enough. Miss Serious seems the most obvious one to go for here.

Selection
Aintree 3:50pm THIRD INTENTION, £10 win @ 7/1 (Betfred, Bet Victor, Ladbrokes)

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Good-time Charlie to seek the spoils

Yesterday showed how you can have it so right, and yet end up so wrong.
As I wrote, trainer Paul Nicholls loves to target this meeting and he duly sent 3 winners in El Bandit @ 6/5, Marracudja @ 3/1 (though he only just held-off the fast finishing 9yo Presenting Arms), and Cliffs Of Dover @ 100/30.
In my main assessment of the 3m2f amateur riders handicap chase, I was spot-on about older horses (that is 9yo or older) as 3 of the 1st-4 places - including the winner Troika Steppes - were aged 8yo or younger.  Perhaps I should have stuck with my original thoughts and gone for the eventual 2nd placed Azure Fly. But, had my selection Conas Taoi run to form, then I'm sure we would have been on the winner. My main concern before the race was his rider, but Mr Deegan rode very well. It looked like the horse just wasn't fit enough for this as with 3 to jump I felt confident he would be in the 1st-4 but his tank emptied as soon as he hit the rising ground after the turn for home.

Onto today, and the meeting opens with a cracking handicap chase. First, let's look at some of the other races on the Cheltenham card. The novice hurdle at 2:25pm isn't my cup-of-tea, and the same for the Class 2 hurdle at 3:00pm.  However, while the fav Adrien Du Port could well end up rated a lot higher than OR147, do not underestimate Wolf Of Windlesham who won at this meeting last year and, if race-fit, will push the fav if that one isn't fully wound-up.

My focus is on the opening race and this 3m1f handicap chase looks wide open with 7-runners priced between 8/1 - 10/1 on  oddschecker as I write. There are 4 runners in the race from my alert list: Coologue (possibly best on softer ground), Cogry (more of a marathon horse), Full Shift (looks well handicapped, but the trip may stretch him), and Racing Pulse (well handicapped on his win in January). I like the chance of Henryville as he was an OR152 hurdler over 3-mile, but he's not shown he stays this sort of trip as a chaser. I think Keltus will run well, as he's fit, but I just think he needs to find improvement to win this, and I'm not sure he's a true 3-miler. Bucking The Trend is the sort who could win if it's his day, but will it be?

The two that I keep coming back to are Coologue and Cogry. The 7yo Coologue never seems to run a bad race, and he comes here fresh.  He will almost certainly be rated a lot higher than OR140 by the end of this season, and he handles good ground and stays this trip. The 7yo Cogry ran a cracker over 3m3f on his seasonal debut here at the November meeting last year, but he was staying-on and my fear is that he does want a longer trip.

With Charlie Longsdon having his horses fit (he sent out Azure Fly yesterday) the 8/1 looks fair eachway value about Coologue.

Selection
Cheltenham 1:50pm COOLOGUE, £5 eachway @ 8/1 generally @ 9@30am went sent out to those on the email list

Friday, 21 October 2016

Friday 21st October

Today we have the opening day of the 2-day Cheltenham meeting, and there are a lot of interesting novice races over both hurdles and fences which you should take note of for future interest. You can never tell just how good the horses are going to be at this stage of the season, but some trainers - such as Paul Nicholls - target this meeting to bring perhaps the best of their novices out.



The novice chase at 2:45pm over a trip of 2-miles is one that Nicholls has sent some of his very best novice chasers to win in the past, so it will be interesting to see how well Marracudja performs today. He has already won over fences at Newton Abbot LTO, so we know he can jump, however today will be a much sterner test. Having the thoroughly exposed 9yo Presenting Arms in the race, who is a rock solid 140-143 chaser at around 2m4f will be a good benchmark.

My focus has been on the Class 3 handicap chase over 3m2f for amateur riders at 5:05pm. I usually leave these amateur rider races alone, but we may have a serious opportunity in this race. 

I will come clean - I do keep one eye on race statistics as a pointer, and in this race horses aged 9yo and more have a poor record. The last 9yo winner was Mister Apple's in 2009, and so I'm going to oppose those aged 9yo and older, and that include the race-fav Cecil Corbett.  Before we move on from the fav, let's look at his form. Cecil Corbett won just 9-days ago over 2m6f in Ireland and so has a 7lb penalty today for that win. That was only the 5th chase race for the 9yo and (in his previous race) he was 3rd to Heist before that over 3m 1f at Kilbeggan on 02-Sept.  He ran like he did not stay the trip that day, and Heist went on to on to beat Azure Fly at Ludlow when they recently met. On a line through Heist, Cecil Corbett has to find at least 8lb improvement over a trip half-a-mile longer than he won over LTO, to beat Azure Fly, and he looks a dodgy stayer to me especially on this testing track.

Based on that formline, I was seriously considering advising Azure Fly, especially as when he ran here in in April he ran a cracker for much of the race.  However, he was easily beaten that day by CONAS TAOI.  This horse also ran in that race at Cheltenham in April and left Azure Fly for dead over the final half-mile but only just failed to catch the eventual winner Any Currency.  I think this 7yo should be the fav for this race, in fact I'd have him much shorter than his current 13/2 if we knew more about his rider - the 5lb claimer Mr R Deegan. He's a mystery to me, this will be (as far as I can ascertain) his first visit to Cheltenham.  It will be a big ask, but he rode his latest winner in September for Irish training legend Willie Mullins, so if he's good enough for Willie he will do for me. The horse is being aimed at the Becher Chase to be run at Aintree in December but, to guarantee an entry, he needs a handicap mark of at least OR125 and he's on OR122 today.  So, I'm expecting this horse to be fit to race and win as he was every time we saw him last season.

The current 2nd-fav is the 6yo Fingerontheswitch who was a useful hurdler but in his two runs over fences has yet to sparkle. This longer trip may suit him better, but he's to short in the market for me.  His inexperience over fences may be his undoing as, with Troika Steppes likely to go off at a rate of knots and with other decent travellers in the race (like Azure Fly and old friends Handy Andy and Cloudy Bob) there will be a lot of pressure put on his jumping.

It is difficult for me to see CONAS TAOI finishing outside the 1st-4 places unless he falls (or loses his rider) and 13/2 represents excellent value in my book in what looks a very weak race full of older horses chosen only as they are safe, reliable jumpers of a fence. 

Advised wager:
Cheltenham 5:05pm CONAS TAOI, £5 eachway and £5 win @ 13/2 ( available with Bet365 and Bet Victor, quarter-odds a place) 


Thursday, 20 October 2016

Looking forward to the weekend

What a weekend to look forward to - the first 2-day Cheltenham meeting of the season opens on Friday; and on Sunday we have the "Monet's Garden" meeting at Aintree. Not only that but we have some great supporting meetings at Kelso on Saturday, and Wincanton on Sunday.
Have I missed any out?

There's no rush at the moment and, with my 5 selections to date resulting in 2 x 3rds and 3 x 2nds, I'm looking for a bit of value to bolster the trading account.

The run from our selection Mountain King at Stratford was a little disappointing. 
Through the race he jumped fairly well with only a couple of slight errors, nothing to worry about, and he travelled well.  He looked the most imposing horse in the race and, when he moved-up to join the leader (and eventual winner Roman Flight) I expected him to go on and win easily.
Unfortunately, when Roman Flight kicked-on after jumping 3-out, Mountain King found little.  Sure, he had enough to hold off the challenge of Top Cat Henry (how this horse was the 3/1 fav beats me) but that was not unexpected.  What disappointed me was that he looked decidedly one-paced when up against a rival who had recently looked a non-stayer at this level over this trip.
The other race I looked at on Saturday, the Welsh Champion Hurdle run at Ffos Las, went to the one horse running in it from my alert list - Garde La Victoire. Had I known trainer Nicky Hendersons entry, Cardinal Walter, was going to be a non-runner, then it's likely that I'd have put up Garde La Victoire as a selection. Although his hurdling was a bit sloppy at times, he looked a lot better than his rivals over this trip, and the performance bodes well for when he reverts to chasing this season.

Today brings us meetings at Carlisle, Newton Abbot and Ludlow; and there are a couple of likely races that may provide us with a wagering opportunity.

At Carlisle there is a Class 3 handicap chase over 3m2f at 3:55pm.
If you are a new reader of the blog, let me advise you that I do not consider races of lower grade than Class 3 and usually stick to chase races, unless I can see a particularly good value wager over hurdles.  Selections have to have odds of 9/4 or longer. There will be no wagers advised on selections at odds of less than 9/4.

We finally have some soft ground at Carlisle, and this 3m2f will take some getting as I consider Carlisle to be a stiff track due to its undulations, even though many in the game reckon the fences on the chase course to be some of the easiest on the racing circuit.
Unfortunately, this looks to be one of the weakest Class 3 races I've come across, and I'm hard pushed to find any in the race that I think are capable of winning it. For instance, I could consider the chance of Nakadam who at 6yo is the youngest horse in the race, and who won LTO back in April if I thought the horse was race-fit.  Unfortunately, his trainer does not have many horses in the stable and he took a fair few runs to get the horse fit last season. As such fitness cannot be taken on trust.
Another I could consider is Lord Brendy as although he hasn't run since June 2015 (16 months ago), his form when he was running was fair to good for the grade and he did win a Class 3 chase at Kelso over a similar trip. Will he be fit enough to win this?
The top weight Benzel has some winning form at 3-miles, but it was a slowly run race and he only beat 3 other rivals - one of which lost his rider mid-race, and another was a certain non-stayer.
Morney Wing has, perhaps, a better chance than most as he loves soft ground and stays this trip (and further) well.
Having his 12th race at Carlisle, his 9th at this trip is the 5-time C&D winner Basford Ben.  He could be thereabouts had he not gone up 7lb to OR113 for his LTO win here last May. He showed with 2 races last autumn over this C&D (in Class 3) that he's probably out of his depth at this grade. 
If push came to shove I'd have an eachway wager on Morney Wing at 7/1, but this race is wide open in my book.  I could see all 10 runners priced between 5/1 and 12/1, with 4 or maybe 5 co-fav's at 5/1.
 
There are no suitable races at Ludlow, although there is a Class 3 novice chase in which I have a runner from my alert list in After Eight Sivola.  He managed to win his chase debut LTO after the odds-on fav Old Guard virtually fell at the 1st-fence and was pulled-up. Even so, he was on my alert list from last season as he's a half-brother of Reve De Sivola and likely to be seen at his best over 3-miles when chasing. As such, he doesn't strike me as a winner of this 2-mile handicap chase, but he will (in time) be a lot better than his current OR122 rating.

There is nothing suitable at Newton Abbot either, and I'm going to wait until the Cheltenham 2-day meeting commences on Friday and see what that holds.  I'm fairly confident we'll be having a wager or two over the weekend. 

Saturday, 15 October 2016

It may be Champions Day - but my focus is on Stratford

Yesterday's blog was full of profitable pointers (Throthethatch won @ 11/8; Present Man won at 11/8) but with the main selection Princeton Royale coming home 2nd after the major market movement that I predicted happened (SP was 3/1 from 11/2) we are still looking for our first winner of the season after 4 wagers.  As one of my readers observed - if we continue wagering on 3/1 chances at odds of 11/2 then (long-term) we will be in profit.

It's not so bad though, as our losing wager yesterday was the first to entirely wipe out the stake.  My post-race thoughts were that as my reading of the form envisaged it being just a 2-horse race, perhaps I should have suggested a straight forecast wager on the main danger (Keltus) to beat my selection.  That would have paid £11.57 to a £1 stake - and that's food for thought going forward.  This, if my regular readers need any reminding, is why I write the narrative and don't just put the time of a race, the name of a horse, and the minimum odds to take.  Please read the narrative, consider my opinion, and marry it to your own risk profile.

Onto Saturday, and what a busy day it is with a very entertaining flat meeting at Ascot as the headline act.  But we are not interested in overblown flat-racing. Our game is the jumps, and we have 3 meetings to contemplate at Stratford, Market Rasen and Ffos Las. 

The 3:15pm at Stratford is a 2m5f handicap chase in which I think there is a lot going for MOUNTAIN KING as he has the best form in the book and has the stamina to stay up to 3-miles. He ran on mainly soft ground last season which did him no favours, and transferring to Gordon Elliot plus racing on "good" ground rewarded him with a win LTO. I think when he's at his best he will be rated 145+ so with just a 3lb adjustment for his latest win he will race off OR136.  I fully expected him to be 2/1 this morning but there has been a move for Top Cat Henry and I'm not sure that is justified based on his racing history even though he ran with promise LTO.  As such you can get 7/2 about MOUNTAIN KING and I think that is great value. For me, he has more to fear from Mont Royale as Top Cat Henry wasn't finding much LTO and was already being rousted along when he was badly impeded and brought-down at the 2nd-last fence.

The Welsh Champion Hurdle is an interesting race at Ffos Las at 4:10pm as I reckon it is more open than the betting suggests. Welsh Shadow will need to show improvement to win off his current handicap mark, and I'm not sure Garde La Victoire (even though he's on my alert list) will be capable of winning this race as he reverts to hurdling from a decent novice chase season last winter. I do like the look of Tommy Silver, who is very unexposed; and also Henderson's Cardinal Walter who looked a potential top class novice hurdler in 2014-15 but missed the 2015 Cheltenham Festival through injury.  If he is fully recovered then he will make a mockery of his 9/1 odds (he's 10/1 with Stan James) but it is a risky proposition as when last seen on the track he was tailed-off.

Just the one wager today,

Selection
Stratford 3:15pm MOUNTAIN KING, £15 win @ 7/2 (available generally)


Friday, 14 October 2016

Princeton to outstay his rivals



A couple of interesting jump meetings today at Fakenham and Wincanton.

First let's look at Wincanton where there is a Class 3 handicap chase over 2m4f at 3:00pm but - with the ground being good-to-firm - it has attracted only 5 runners.  What is interesting is that Paul Nicholls has sent his 6yo Present Man for the race, which will be only his 3rd outing over fences. He drops in trip from 3-miles for this race which could help him and, with the opposition looking fairly ordinary for a Class 3 race, he should do well. My issue are the current odds of just 2/1. With his inexperience it would be no surprise to see his jumping put under pressure,

There is a good future pointer from Paul Nicholls in respect of a horse that isn't running.  Nicholls has won the Class 3 novice chase at 3:15pm at Fakenham 3 times in the past 4 years, and he had entered San Benedeto for the race but he's a likely non-runner. San Benedeto was a very consistent, game hurdler last season and, if he's transferred that attitude to novice chasing, he will be an interesting horse to follow this season. 

The opening hurdle race at Fakenham has Throthehatch as the 11/10 fav and while I do think that - having spent last season novice chasing with some success till losing his confidence late in the season - he could be well handicapped, I'm not sure I'd have him as an 11/10 chance; more like 3/1.  

The 4:25pm 3-mile handicap chase at Fakenham is a race we know on this blog, having tipped the winner of it last season.  Again, it is only a small field of entries, with that man Paul Nicholls supplying the fav - Keltus. This summer Keltus has won 2 of his 5 chase races, and this is his 2nd stint at chasing as he race 4 times in novice chases during 2014-15 without winning and was back hurdling in 2015-16. Although he's not won beyond 2m5f he should have the stamina for this trip and looks fairly handicapped. Not so the 2nd-fav Workbench who has only run twice beyond 2m5f and merely plodded on in both those races. The 10yo Weisentraum hasn't run since finishing 4th of 5 runners in this race last season, and while he will stay the trip you have to wonder what sort of form he will retain and off OR135 he will need to be near his best to win.

Princeton Royale won 3 times as a hurdler, all over 3-miles, so we know he will stay this trip.  He has won 2 of his 4 chase races to date (all this summer) and was perhaps unlucky to meet a well handicapped rival in Vintage Vinnie LTO who competed with him for the lead throughout the race. He could be a lot better than OR131 if he can settle better in his races as he likes to lead. However, he is a decent jumper of a fence with no obvious stamina limitations.  Wadswick Court was also in that Vintage Vinnie race, but he will be unlikely to stay this trip as he's never run beyond 2m5f as a chaser or a hurdler. He does like to run prominently though (like Princeton Royale) and so there should be a good pace on throughout this race.

Gallery Exhibition did win a 6-runner 3-mile race at Catterick in Dec-14, but it was very slowly run (that wont be the case today) and he's not looked like a stayer in subsequent attempts at 3-mile.  While Noble Legend seems to have lost his love for the game, and is unlikely to be involved in the finish.

So, do we take on the fav Keltus?  There are odds of 11/2 available about PRINCETON ROYALE with Bet365 and PaddyPower with 5/1 available elsewhere and as I think the horse should be joint-fav with Keltus at 5/2 we seem to have found some value.  We know the horse is race-fit, capable of winning, stays the trip and handles the ground.  Those factors tell me we should have a wager.

Selection
Fakenham 4:25pm PRINCETON ROYALE, £10 Win @ 11/2 (Bet365 and Paddy Power)

Unfortunately, since I advised those on the email list at 9:00am the 11/2 has gone.  There is still some 9/2 available with Ladbrokes and Stan James (everyone else is 4/1); and that is still fair, as I reckon he is a 5/2 chance.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Bobby Renton Chase at Wetherby



The Bobby Renton handicap chase run at 4:00pm today at Wetherby is one of my personal landmarks in the jump season. 
This race has been won by the fav (or co-fav) on 5 of the last 6 years, so (normally) it may pay not to stray too far from the market leaders when looking for the likely winner. Hewever, this years race looks a weak renewal and that is reflected in the odds of 4/1 for the fav.
The race is the first of 4, Class 3, handicaps run at the course today, there being 2 chase handicaps and 2 hurdle handicaps.  Unfortunately I don't think my Alert List will help me in the "Bobby Renton" as the only runner from it is The Grey Taylor and he ran a stinker on his seasonal debut last month. He jumped well enough that day but, when push came to shove, he found nothing at all.  It may have been a fitness issue, but I'm not sure.   
The current fav is Art Of Logistics but that opinion is on the basis that he recovers his form of old.  He may well have hinted at a return to that sort of form since joining Phil Hobbs' stable, but we have yet to see it. For some reason (see my comments above) The Grey Taylor is next in the betting at 5/1, but I think this trip may stretch him even if he is race-fit now.  I much prefer Lord Wishes who won a handicap hurdle at this meeting last season, but he's been off the track since July and (looking at his record) he runs best when he's been kept busy.  As such, he may come on for this outing.
I can't see much room for more improvement from Degooch, and Gurkha Brave ran very poorly LTO even tho' he had little chance of winning that particular race. As such, one that comes into the frame for me is Presenting Junior. He is a standing dish at northern tracks being a multiple winner at Ayr and Hexham. He never won last season, but was mainly racing on ground softer than he likes.
He last won at Ayr in April 2015 off OR124 and he runs off OR127 today having been rated a lot higher in between. However, he does appear to be a horse with only one gear.  That said, he does jump a fence very well and he keeps going at a good pace, so he's the sort of horse who should be in the 1st-3 and (if he's a little fortunate) could make it into the winners enclosure.  This looks a weak race on paper, and weak races are won by horses for whom everything falls right. And Presenting Junior does come across as a reliable horse.

All-in-all, we can't place wagers on a wing and a prayer, so no advice today other than to keep your money in your wallet and wait for a better opportunity.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Weekend Look-back 8th/9th October



What a great weekend of horseracing - and how close were we to pulling off a major coup!
Both selections were the subject of major gambles, with Saturdays wager on A GOOD SKIN starting off on Friday evening at 16/1, opening on Saturday morning at 14/1 and ending up at 9/1 - that's a serious wedge. But Sunday's wager was even stronger. When posting the blog to the on the email list I had already just missed 8/1, then when I posted the blog online the best odds were 7/1 (from 15/2). By the time the race went off the selection DOUBLE SHUFFLE was 7/2.

Quite what happened with Double Shuffle about 6-furlongs out from the finish I'm not sure.  His jockey was hard at work, and he was losing ground on the leaders and looked a beaten horse. I thought that perhaps his trainers opinion that he would improve for the run possibly should have been he needed the race! As they jumped the 3rd-last fence I lost my internet connection so had no idea of what happened next till I saw the result about 10 mins later. To me it looked like the leaders had all gone off too quick and tied-up jumping the last couple of fences, while Double Shuffle kept on running at the same pace and stayed on strong. He only failed by a head on the line and, as he jumped both the 4th and 3rd last fences without much cajoling from his rider (who like all of us thought the horse was well beaten at the time), it makes you wonder how far he may have won by had his jockey kept pushing and shoving.

Still, so far I've advised 3 wagers this season, and all have finished in the place money with 2 x 3rds and a 2nd - we are knocking on the door of a big one! I can feel it coming.

The other horse I wrote about on Sunday was most disappointing - Arpege D'Alene. 
His trainer Paul Nicholls had 3 winners at Chepstow on Sunday, so it's unlikely fitness was an issue, and the horse was jumping well.  With 4 fences to go his jockey asked him to go on as the others quickened off what look a modest gallop, and the horse found nothing - he clearly wasn't enjoying the experience. Arpege D'Alene is a talented horse, possibly a 155+ 3-mile hurdler and you don't find many of those. it would be no surprise to me to see him return to hurdles, but I wont be wagering on him over fences until he's proven his worth in that sphere.

Double Ross was last at his best this time last year, and yesterday contested the veterans chase off a rating 6lbs below that he raced off when 4th in the Paddy Power handicap chase won by Annacotty last November. Three miles stretches his stamina, and he looked vulnerable after jumping the final fence yesterday, but managed to hold off the challenge of Loose Chips. This may be the best we see of Double Ross, and on reflection I was more impressed with Loose Chips as he usually improves for racing through the season. Also, he will enjoy the softer ground when it comes and, as I expected after he won at Kempton in April over 3-mile, he could prove a money-spinner in these veteran chase races.

We have a quiet few days so it's likely we wont have another potential selection till towards the end of the week. 

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Good effort from A Good Skin

Just a quick message on this bright Sunday morning.

What a cracking run yesterday from A GOOD SKIN, and as I predicted he was the subject of a gamble from 16/1 to an SP of 9/1 - and he beat all the main market rivals in coming 3rd.  Unfortunately, he was beaten by 2 horses that were relatively unconsidered - Potters Cross a 9yo from the Rebecca Curtis stable, and Buckhorn Timothy a 25/1 chance. Both confounded the formbook, although you may have  considered Potters Cross if you were attached to the Curtis stable. We now have to seriously consider every runner from that Curtis stable and anticipate considerable improvement.

I missed a couple of winners yesterday from my alert list in Rock The Kasbah and Ballyoptic, but you cannot bet on all of them and if I gave 6 selections a day you would soon all get fed-up. My aim is to find the best value available from my knowledge and I thought I did that yesterday with A Good Skin.  

Onto today, and from my alert list Arpege D'Alene looks nailed-on in the novice chase at 2:15pm at Chepstow. He was highly tried in a couple of novice chases last Autumn without winning, and a repeat of that form would see him win easily. He is about 20lb better over hurdles than his rivals, so with a clear round I cannot see him being beaten. As his odds are under 9/4 I cannot advise a wager (as I do not recommend wagers at odds under 9/4) but really Arpege D'Alene should be about 4/7 and not his current 6/4 (he's 7/4 with Stan James).

There is a cracking handicap chase at Chepstow at 4:00pm with several horses off my alert list running: Irish Cavalier, Voix D'Eaux, Junction Fourteen and Double Shuffle. I'd say that Irish Cavalier has a favourites chance as he's a quality horse, possibly 160+ at best and his trainer Rebecca Curtis has her string flying. Voix D'Eaux possibly wants 3-mile, and Junction Fourteen may want softer ground, but will likely go very well. I cannot see Sire De Grugy going well at this trip.  Of my alert list horses, I like the chance of Double Shuffle who was likely over the top LTO but ran a cracker at the Cheltenham Festival which was only his 4th chase race.
If you can get the 15/2 that is worth an eachway wager.

Since sending out to those on the email list, the 15/2 has gone and the best odds are 7/1 which still represents value as I reckon the horse is a 5/1 chance.

Selection
Chepstow 4:00pm DOUBLE SHUFFLE, £5 eachway @ 15/2 with available generally