What a wonderful mixture of cards to get stuck into on Wednesday, Wetherby always presents itself as a test for those over jumps which in turn means good horses run there.
Dan and Harry Skelton have a great 34% record at the course boosted by a healthy £12.40 level stake profit. They have a few runners but I have honed in on a couple. Firstly Savello (2.20) who at his peak was running with a rating in the 150s, now 12 years younger I’m sure he can show the youngsters a thing or two. Especially as he proved he was no back number at Lingfield a couple of weeks ago. Scanning back through his past he can boast running against the likes Sizing Europe, Dodging Bullets and the legendary Sprinter Sacre! He has six wins over the bigger obstacles from 36 and he would be a wonderfully sentimental story if he could oblige.
One of my favourite memories and biggest wins in this grand sport was Countrywide Flame in the 2012 Triumph Hurdle at 33-1! He was trained by John Quinn and ridden by Dougie Costello, my voice has never been the same as me and a group of friends roared him up the Cheltenham hill. The famous colours carried that day will be carried by Alexanderthegreat in Wetherby’s 12.15. John Quinn trains and Brian Hughes rides, say no more. Obviously there are some tidy stables unleashing their newcomers also. Alexanderthegreat showed sufficient ability on the flat and I suspect he has plenty more to give.
John Quinn has already equalled last year’s jumps winner tally of 6 and that is just from 20 runners! Plus he has had a brilliant year on the flat with 44 successes.
There is a very competitive handicap hurdle at 2.50, in trying to find value I have landed on Viserion, as the best time to capture him is when you least expect he is to succeed. He won this time last year at Sedgefield and is now at a mark so low it is almost as if he has a feather on his back. Mr Theo Gillard will add to his chances by taking a further 7lb out of the saddle and even though the form figures don’t show it he could sneak at least third.
When asked for a something to follow for this current jumps season I flagged up conditional jockeys Harry Teal and Harry Stock, if I had my time again I would have added Rex Dingle, and the aforementioned and latter both ride in Hereford’s 12.35. I favour recent winner Agincourt Reef who is dropping back to a trip he has won over. Take on board that trainer Roger Teal has had 3 winners form his last 7 runners.
There are eight races at both Wolverhampton and Newcastle on the AW surfaces. Wolverhampton’s 4.30 Class 2 handicap is a corker. The Throstles has to be respected courtesy of his four wins from six runs course record while Graffiti Master represents the all-conquering John Gosden stable who runs at a 34% strike rate at the venue. The latter steps down in class having been contesting listed races. Back last year he was third to Kew Gardens and Dee Ex Bee, if he retains any of that ability then he will be hard to beat.
At Newcastle Harry George seems to love the Toon air, he has won at the course three times from his last four and is once again bidding for success at 5.15, he has vaulted up the ratings from 46 to 67 but may have some further improvement to come as he is on a roll.