We have just the one jumps meeting at Carlisle today and it heralds a cracking spectacle of jump racing for the weekend. Looking ahead, we have a tremendous Wetherby 2-day meeting on Friday and Saturday with the feature race being the Charlie Hall Chase (Grade 2). There is an excellent supporting card on both days at Wetherby including a cracking handicap chase on Friday. There is also a very good 1-day meeting at Ascot on Saturday, so plenty to look forward to. Unfortunately, I'm off to the west-country on Thursday morning (returning on Sunday) to see my 11yo son who lives in Cornwall – so altho' I will make every effort to produce a blog on Friday and Saturday, it may well be brief in content and focus on just a couple of races.
Following a wipe-out on Saturday, I want to get back on the winning trail, and there are a couple of horse alert runners for me today at Carlisle.
2:40 – CHAC DU CADRAN
3:50 – SWALEDALE LAD
CHAC DU CADRAN progressed really well as a staying chaser last year considering he was a novice chaser. He ran a couple of tremendous races on soft going, winning over 3m6f at Catterick but, as a front runner, he's more than capable of setting a strong gallop over this extended 3-mile trip. There are 9 going to post, and none can be fully excluded from the considerations. Full Of Joy is a horse I've followed since his chase debut, but he's hard to predict. Dusky Bob is an interesting runner, but he's not a big improver on what he showed last season. My Boy Paddy disappointed last season and he probably wants going a bit more testing that what we have today. Ultra Du Chatelet is a complete unknown at this sort of trip. This looks a fairly ordinary Class 3 handicap chase with a just one horse looking capable of mixing with the big boys later-on this season – CHAC DU CADRAN. Currently 7/1 with BetVictor, and 13/2 elsewhere, those odds look more than decent value as I think he's more like a 4/1 chance and, if he's fully fit to race, on form he should be 5/2. As such, I'm on for £5 eachway and £5 win as it is very hard not to see him not finishing in the 1st-3 as he's a safe jumper of a fence and stamina is not an issue on this ground.
In the 3:50, SWALEDALE LAD is expected to maintain his improvement. He was 2nd behind a good one LTO over C&D and today's softer ground will be to his benefit. Currently 100/30 with BetVictor, Paddy Power and Stan James, that looks fair value in my book as I'd have thought he'd be starting at around 9/4. This is a tricky race tho', as are all novice chases at this stage of the season, so I'm only having a small £5 win stake on as there are a number of decent horses having their chase debut today.
2:40 – CHAC DU CADRAN, for £5 eachway and £5 win @ 7/1 (Betvictor, BOG 5th odds a place 1,2,3)
3:50 – SWALEDALE LAD, £5 win @ 100/30 (BetVictor, Paddy Power and Stan James; all go BOG)
Total staked = £20
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