Prices correct at the time of sending to members last night.
As it is the start of the National Hunt Season we are going to give away all our tips for free today and show you the amount of work which goes into each and every tip we send out.
TEA CLIPPER 7/4 generally – 1.5 POINTS WIN
A very competitive race and you could make a case for quite a few of these. Kitty’s Light was 2nd in this race last season, beaten just a head but surely they won’t have him fully wound up for this, when his main target will be the Welsh National. If he does win the race his mark will go up again and the Welsh National just gets tougher and tougher.
Same with a number of these who will be looking for a better handicap mark later in the season. The one horse you can be confident is going to turn up a fit horse is TEA CLIPPER. The fact he has won at this meeting for the last 2 years tells us he will be fit and ready and Chepstow is clearly a course which suits. The key to TEA CLIPPER is the ground and when he gets good ground he is a tough horse to beat. Throughout his career TEA CLIPPER has run on good ground 6 times and won 5 races which is obviously a fantastic record. He is now down to a handicap mark of 142 which looks very workable given he came home 4th in the Ultima Handicap Chase last season, running in it as a novice. Jockey Stan Sheppard has been on board the last 5 times, including when winning at the meeting last year. Trainer Tom Lacey will have him spot on and although it is a tough race, I am confident he goes very close and makes it a hat trick of wins at this meeting. WIN.
FLIC OU VOYOU 7/2 generally – 1 POINT WIN
Last year’s winner Paint The Dream is obviously the class horse in the race but this will be tough carrying 12st and rated 157. Last year when winning the race he was 10lb lower in the handicap and given his rating, gives huge amounts of weight away to the field. Having said that with £20k going to the winner and trainer Fergal O’Brien just likes to get winners on the board, he will be fit and ready, but given the tough test I am going to side with the Paul Nicholls trained FLIC OU VOYOU. He is rated 133 by the handicapper and now a second season chaser, I am sure he will be much better than that mark. He was a winner last year in a handicap off a mark of 132 so is only 1lb higher here. He went on and ran some nice races at listed level and decent ground is ideal. FLIC OU VOYOU carries just 10st 4lb and with Harry Cobden in the saddle with next to nothing on his back, he has a great chance. WIN.
DIDTHEYLEAVEUOUTTO 8/1 generally – 0.5 POINTS E/W (4 places Paddy Power and Sky Bet)
The race of the day and the favourite here is Knappers Hill. He is a decent horse who I rate but at times he struggles in the jumping department and I wonder if the first time up his jumping will be a bit rusty. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win but at the price and the fact Paul Nicholls may have longer term plans, I will take him.
The horse I am siding with is last years 2nd DIDTHEYLEAVEUOUTTO down to the fact that he will love the good ground. Faster the better for him and I am sure this year Niall Houlihan won’t have him so far back. He came from a mile back last year to finish 2nd and if he is a bit closer to the leaders this time around, I am sure he will finish the race out strongly. He lines up here rated 131 and Niall Houlihan claims a further 3lb off his back. You know he will come into the race a very fit horse as he has been running on the flat over the summer. For a horse who has finished runner up in this race and also seems to like it around Chepstow, he is decent value. E/W.
TOO FRIENDLY 7/2 generally – 1 PT WIN
Based on his 5th in the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, I make TOO FRIENDLY the favourite here, yet we can get a very decent price. This Dan Skelton trained horse is now rated 125 and I have no doubt he will turn out a better horse than that this season. He was a winner on his first two starts last season in impressive fashion and then went for the grade 2 Juvenile Hurdle at Doncaster in December. He was beaten by two good horses in Knight Salute and Porticello but did run a nice race which, if repeated here, would easily win the race. Harry Skelton takes the ride and I think this horse could turn out to be a 10lb better horse as the season goes on. Confident he gets involved and is the one they have all got to beat. E/W.
RANCH HAND 28/1 generally – 0.375 POINTS E/W (6 places, 1/5 odds)
NOT SO SLEEPY 33/1 generally – 0.375 POINTS E/W (6 places, 1/5 odds)
WITHHOLD 40/1 generally – 0.375 POINTS E/W (6 places, 1/5 odds)
We have 3 selections in the Ceasreswitch, all at huge prices.
With the front two in the market at very short prices in a 23 runner race, it leaves lots of value around and I am happy to play 3 horses all of which I feel are big value.
Back in 2021 RANCH HAND was running in group 3 races and going close. He is also a former listed winner. He was not seen from June 2021 until 3 weeks ago at Newmarket when coming home 4th of 5 to Nate The Great, so 467 days off the track. That run 3 weeks ago was nothing more than a race to put him spot on for this. The Andrew Balding trained horse does have to carry top weight so it is going to be tough but William Carver does take 3lb off his back which brings his mark down slightly. We are taking a chance that he can find his old form but I am sure his trainer would not be running him in such a race after being sidelined for a while, if he did not think he had a great chance. I just feel the way the race will be run will suit him and at the prices he offers decent value. E/W.
NOT SO SLEEPY will try to make all the running and from stall 5 he is drawn perfectly to grab that rail. NOT SO SLEEPY was 4th in this race back in 2020 off exactly the same handicap mark as he runs off today. He was also 4th in the race in 2019. I also think this year’s race is weaker than the race in 2019 and 2020 and the jockey booking of Adam Kirby is an excellent one. He is very strong in the finish and that is exactly what this horse needs. This horse wears his heart on his sleeve and he will make this a true test for the field. It could be that he slips the field and they find it hard to peg him back. Whatever happens if he finishes 4th again at 33/1, then we will be happy enough but I do think he has the ability to surprise a few on his day. E/W.
Our final selection is WITHHOLD who is a former winner of this race and I just can’t let a horse who has won this race in the past go off at 40/1. Roger Charlton has booked David Probert, a jockey I have a lot of time for. WITHHOLD handicap mark has slipped all season and is now down to 98, which is down from 106 at the start of the season. He is not the horse he once was but that is obviously reflected in his handicap mark. As we have mentioned above this is a weaker race than previous years and he could sneak a place at a big price. From 4 starts at Newmarket on the Rowley Mile he has won 2 races and come home 2nd. The course clearly brings out the best in him. E/W.