CHIANTI CLASSICO 5/2 generally – 1 POINT WIN
CHANTI CLASSICO has taken to fences like a duck to water and looks like a real natural. He is a novice and running outside novice company here, but from what I have seen so far, it doesn’t really matter. He is a very polished jumper and is two from two over fences. His first run of the season was very impressive when winning at Chepstow and his second run, although not as easy on eye, was when giving lumps of weight away to the 2nd, yet still stuck his head down and grinded the win out. His form going right handed was much better over hurdles and you have to expect him to improve again around Kempton which is also a right handed course. We have the best jockey in the UK on board in Harry Cobden and I am expecting him to go very close. WIN.
NEMEAN LION 5/1 generally – 0.75 POINTS E/W (6 places, 1/5 odds)
LANGER DAN 50/1 generally – 0.25 POINTS E/W (6 places, 1/5 odds)
We have 2 selections in this race.
My main bet of the race is NEMEAN LION who I have marked down for this race since he finished 5th of 15 in the Greatwood Hurdle, at Cheltenham in November. It was a solid run and he was making headway but a mistake at the 2nd last cost him a few lengths. He then went and made a mistake at the last hurdle, once again losing ground. To still come home 5th after two costly mistakes is a credit to the horse. On his first start of the season he was an easy winner of the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las and I think that was a massive performance. He has not been seen since and I expect trainer Kerry Lee has targeted this race with him. A strong pace is sure to suit as he travels well through his race and once again I am expecting a huge performance. E/W.
I am having a saver on LANGER DAN who either blows out in last and is being handicapped for Cheltenham, which is probably the case but at the back of my mind something is telling me he could be massively overpriced in a race of 19 runners. He is a horse who does not like small fields, Dan Skelton has always said that although he has been poor this season, in fields 7, 10 and 11, that was always going to be the case. If we look at his form in fields of 20+ runners it reads 2nd (Galopin Des Champs), BD (when coming to win the race), 1st, 1st.
With 19 runners in this race it could bring the LANGER DAN back of old. The prize to the winner is £52k, which is not far off the prize for the Coral Cup of £56k.
As I say I can’t be overly confident as he is probably being handicapped once again for the Coral Cup but at 50/1 and nearly 20 runners, I am happy to have a small bit of interest and see what happens. If fit enough he could cut through this field and on 143, it is only 2lb higher than when winning at Cheltenham last March.
AYE RIGHT 11/2 generally – 0.5 POINTS E/W (5 places, 1/5 odds)
GOOD BOY BOBBY 13/2 generally – 0.5 POINTS E/W (5 places, 1/5 odds)
We have 2 selections in this race.
AYE RIGHT should really have won on his first start of the season when going clear of the field after the last, only to idle up the run in. He then ran at this course in November, coming home 3rd to another of today’s runners, Thomas Darby. I thought he was given a strange ride that day and didn’t force the race as he normally does. He has come down the handicap 2lb for that run which I am happy to put a line through and focus solely on his first start. This is a decent horse on his day and they have booked the talented Dylan Johnson to ride and claim 7lb. It brings his mark down to 143 and his weight on his back to 11st 4lb. The soft ground is to his liking and I am hoping he goes from the front and adopts his usual tactics. E/W.
Our second selection is GOOD BOY BOBBY who has rattled up two wins on the bounce. He just looks very comfortable in these Veteran races. He is up the handicap a further 4lb to a mark of 139 but he is perfectly capable off that mark on his day. He knows how to win races as he showed at Chepstow in October. The race all but lost but he rallied late in the day to claim the win from Aye Right.
Last time out he was a good winner at Sandown and I don’t think Sandown is his perfect course and a course like Warwick is much more suited to him.
Sam Twiston Davies is a big plus as he is so strong in the finish and if he is in with a sniff after the last, you just know he is going to get your horse home. E/W.