At last!! It’s a proper jumps weekend with the two day meeting at Chepstow and the Velka Pardubicke on Sunday. Before we know it, there will be potential championship horses out every weekend and I will be in my element! Others will be preoccupied with the slow end of the flat season. Losers! Delighted to have received my Jumpers To Follow. Paul Ferguson’s indispensable guide. Here we go!!
Chepstow’s Jumps Festival has really delivered this year with lots of new recruits making their first outings as well as former hurdlers making their highly anticipated chasing debuts. So let’s get into it because this is when you can get really good value.
2.10 2m 11y Class 4 Novices’ Hurdle
Nicholls really rates Brave Jaq and rightly so. This one is much better bred for jumps and is a confident 2/1 selection. The Henderson horse is a flat race transfer and unconvincing.
245 2m 3f 100y Class 4 Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
Bowen’s 1/2 Aintree listed winner Hollies Pearl is unopposable.
3.20 2m 3f 98y Class 2 Novices’ Chase
This is a cracker! Really good hurdlers going chasing. The obvious choice is Blaklion but I prefer As De Mee (and probably more importantly Nicholls sees him as a better chaser than hurdler!). Notable that Pearl Swan was sold and moved from Nicholls to Bowen for £16,000 so beware with that one.
3.55 2m 110y Class 4 Limited Handicap Hurdle
Monsieur Gibraltar (French import for Nicholls) may be just too good in this company but I prefer Karezak, a horse I’ve thought for a long time has a lot more to give.
4.30 Tote Silver Trophy Hurdle 2m 3f 100y (Grade 3)
Sod the Cesarewitch, Channel 4 should be putting this on as their handicap highlight. I like L’unique for Alan King with Grade 1 form to her credit.
5.05 2m 7f 131y Class 2 Handicap Chase
Normally I’d have moved on before the end of the card but this is another betting cracker. Lots of good candidates. Sausalito Sunrise opened at 12/1 and has contracted to 3/1 so well done to those who got on. I think he’s the bet of the day.
The last race is one for conditional jockeys… Hence no view!
I’ll provide a Sunday view (assuming that I’m not bankrupt by then!). As for the Velka Pardubicke on Sunday the favourite refused to race last time, but he is ridden by Josef Vana who just wins this race year in, year out. It’s live on Racing UK. If you want to analyse it I think that you’ll need Google Translate: http://www.vpcp.cz.
In case I’m in despair at Chepstow, don’t miss Adrien Du Pont in the opening hurdle, Beast of Burden in a novices’ chase (very excited about that), Emerging Talent (well named) in the Persian War and Above Board in the first division of the Bumper on Sunday.
It would be churlish of me to ignore the Munster National. Quite simply I have no idea!! Good luck to all participants!
For those who have got this far, Strictly and X Factor betting will follow tomorrow. Here’s a clue: Peter Andre, Katie Derham and Helen George.