The second division of a seven furlong handicap to open up Chepstow’s Bank Holiday eight race card. Read on for our runner by runner preview and expert tip.
IN SUMMARY: BARISTA is a bit of a quirky customer but he gets on really well with Hollie Doyle. The pair won at Salisbury last time, beating a well handicapped horse into second. That suggests that he is capable of going in again in a race where solid recent form is at a premium. Carcharias runs well at this track and looks like making it into the frame once more while Aye Aye Skipper might make it into the places if they go hard enough in front.
1 BORN TO FINISH – Better horse on the all weather, he is yet to score in ten attempts on turf. He ran well on his debut for this yard but has struggled in three runs since, including over this trip the last twice. All four career wins are over six furlongs so this distance is not in his favour despite the drop in grade.
2 KING OF SWING – Scored on his debut at Haydock back in September 2015 but has failed to get his head back in front in twenty races since. He was only beaten a length last time behind a filly in flying form this summer but that – like the majority of his best form – came on a soft surface, the drying conditions are against him.
3 CARCHARIAS – Two wins and a second from four starts here, so he is always well worth considering when he races at Chepstow. He has won over this trip but the very best form he has shown is over a mile so from a pound above his highest winning mark, a place might be the best that he can hope for.
4 AL’S MEMORY – Veteran is a pound below his lowest winning mark. He hasn’t been seen since May 2016 so this will be some training feat from David Evans if he can get competitive. He has no ground concerns whatever the weather does but he had been a little better at a mile when last seen rather than this seven furlong trip.
5 BARISTA – Not the easiest of rides, trainer Brian Forsey happily admits that he “is a monkey…but Hollie knows him and I think she’s only been out of the frame on him once and they’ve won three times now.” He has won over both seven furlongs and a mile and on various ground so there should be no concerns for him there. As Forsey said, Hollie Doyle gets on well with him so he needs plenty of consideration after a decent win at Salisbury last tine out, where the runner-up was a very well handicapped horse.
6 CORPORAL MADDOX – His last win came in July 2016 over this course and distance, a poor run of form since sees him running from seventeen pounds lower here. He ran well enough in a seller at Brighton earlier in the month but didn’t look ready to cash in on this mark just a few days ago at this track.
7 AYE AYE SKIPPER – Had to drop to the basement mark of 45 to get his head back in front at Bath earlier in the season. He followed that with a strong effort from this perch but has struggled since. A mile is more his trip these days so they are going to have to go off hard in front if he is going to pick them off late, no better than an outside squeak.
8 CHAMPAGNE FREDDIE – Showed a little promise in maidens but has beaten just one home in each of his two handicaps so far. Lightly raced and should be capable of better but is hard to support until he shows more signs of life in this discipline.
9 POET’S CHARM – Like Champagne Freddie, he has just the five career starts to his credit. His first for his current yard was a last of five over ten furlongs here earlier in the month. Quickly dropped back in trip, he is worth keeping in mind back on the all weather but his three starts on turf have been terrible by comparison.
10 CAPTAIN MARMALADE – A winner just the once from twenty three starts, but that did at least come at this track. He has placed a couple of times since but in general has looked regressive. Eighteen pounds below that win back on the same track is almost tempting from an each way perspective but the percentage call has to be to oppose for win purposes.
11 RISING SUNSHINE – Yet to finish better than fourth in seventeen starts, first time cheekpieces are going to have to produce an enormous improvement if he is to get involved. This looks like his trip, not beaten far at Wolverhampton over seven in March but it isn’t enough to suggest he can win this.