A famous 1-2-3 for Ireland in the Melbourne Cup in the early hours of Tuesday morning, but it was 24-year-old Joseph O’Brien who led the way with Rekindling from dad Aidan’s Johannes Vermeer second and Willie Mullins’ Max Dynamite back in third. Rekindling was cut from 16s to 12/1 with BetVictor for the Ascot Gold Cup next summer and looks a most progressive stayer.
Conditions are described as good to soft ahead of today’s Chepstow card where Swift Crusador (2.00) can make a winning chase debut for Evan Williams. The selection won his last four point-to-points and made a winning debut over rules when scoring over timber at Ffos Las back in March over 2m 4f. This drop back to the minimum trip is a concern on the face of it, but the selection travelled like the best horse for much of the race on his hurdles bow but would have been outstayed had the favourite not tipped up at the last.
A big danger looks like being Itshard To No representing the yard of Kerry Lee whose string are beginning to fire on all cylinders. Richard Johnson is a positive booking for this well handicapped sort who receives 4lbs from the selection.
Dan Skelton has his strong in excellent form and Red Rising (3.10) looks to have every chance on his reappearance having run away with a Catterick Novices’ Hurdle at the end of February. The horse has been taken out of a couple of recent races on account of the good being too fast, but yesterday’s rain should ensure there are no such concerns this afternoon.
A winning pointer in his native Ireland the selection will jump a fence in time and must have a leading chance although recent Wincanton winner Steely Addition is 2lbs well in under a penalty for that fluent win.
Good ground is the order of the day at Musselburgh’s first jumps card of the season and Irish raider Mullaghmurphy Blue (1.15) should appreciate underfoot conditions and didn’t get the best of runs when fourth at Downpatrick last month.
Beyond The Clouds is likely to be all the rage in the Novices’ Hurdle after his fluent Kelso win but the each way recommendation is Wotabreeze (1.50) who shaped with considerable promise at Market Rasen on debut and is entitled to improve with that experience under his belt.
Conor O’Farrell is making a name for himself in the north, having found opportunities limited in the southern half of Britain. I think he can take the 2m handicap Chase with Cooper’s Friend (2.25) who is very well handicapped on his best form and has suggested his turn is near in recent starts. It must be stated that he has never won over the minimum trip, which is a slight concern, but they ought to go a true gallop and that should suit the selection who should be staying on all the way to the line.
At Kempton this evening Rydan (6.40) looked an unlucky loser when getting no run at Nottingham last time, albeit from a 7lbs lower turf mark. Hector Crouch takes off a valuable 3lbs, the Gary Moore yard could not be in better form and the selection has a cracking draw in stall five.