Haydock’s Peter Marsh Chase has attracted thirteen quality staying chasers and it is 5/1 the field with BetVictor unable to split the Philip Hobbs-trained Rock The Kasbah and Nigel Twiston-Davies’s talented novice Tintern Theatre. I am a big Forest Des Aigles fan, however, and he must get the each way vote at 10/1 with BetVictor despite stepping up to three-and-a-quarter miles for the first time.
Chepstow describe their ground as heavy ahead of this afternoon’s card and North West Wind (1.05) showed promise when fourth on his racecourse debut for Evan Williams when in need of the experience back in November. Today’s step up in trip should suit the selection who may have most to fear from Scorpion Sid who finished runner up in his sole point back in March.
Rocco (1.35) makes his hurdles debut over three miles for the Twiston-Davies team and they can upset the likely favourite Jammin Masters who steps up to three miles for the first time for Warren Greatrex.
The selection cost his connections £90,000 at Cheltenham Sales in November and he was backed on his British debut when down the field in a 1m 6f Bumper at Ludlow last month. A comfortable point winner over three miles in November, he is bred to be smart and gets the narrow vote.
The mare Rons Dream reverts to fences having pulled up on her sole start over the larger obstacles in listed company back in December 2016. She has the scope to jump a fence and receives weight from her three rivals but I am an admirer of Ramses De Teillee who was just outstayed over three-and-a-quarter miles at Fontwell back in December and can give 6lbs to Impulsive Star.
I am not surprised that connections fit Impulsive Star with cheek-pieces for the first time given he raced lazily at Catterick last time when beaten a head by Three Ways. Connections are reported to be eying a crack at the National Hunt Chase at the Festival and he receives 9lbs, including his jockey’s allowance, from the David Pipe-trained grey. If the headgear works the oracle he should win, but the selection is a lovely jumper and will give Impulsive Star and Rons Dream plenty to think about.
Naranja (2.45) needs to brush up her jumping but she won well at Lingfield over this trip last time and her opening mark of 112 looks workable. Daytime Ahead might want slightly further than today’s near two-and-a-half mile trip but she will be staying on when others have cried enough and rates the danger.
Greyed A (3.20) made an absolute Horlicks of a mistake at Fontwell last time, but still ran out a ready winner and I think the grey can land his hat-trick carrying a 7lbs penalty. The excellent Sam Twiston-Davies keeps the ride for Dr Richard Newland.
In the finale Finnegan’s Garden impressed me at Plumpton last time despite the fact that his market rival fell with the race just beginning to take shape. On the face of it, an 8lbs rise looks harsh and the selection was taken out of a race back at Plumpton at the 11th hour earlier in the month. The hope is that he is over what made him miss what looked a good opportunity.
Musselburgh must pass an inspection at 8am but if they get the green light, I hope to see Misfits reverse recent C&D form with Smiling Jessica for Lucinda Russell.