Only 6 go to post for this Novices Chase with £3,899 available to the winner. Read on for our experts’ thoughts and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: This should be a tactical affair with only 6 runners. I Just Know and GOLDEN INVESTMENT should take each other on for the lead and the latter is tipped to prevail. The Sue Smith horse was impressive winning from the front at Hexham last month and should go close if they don’t pull too hard early on, but Donald McCain’s Gedling can be forgiven his Chase debut at Ayr and he can regain the winning thread here after winning so impressively over Hurdles at Kelso in May.
1 Bronco Billy – Won a Bumper on his second run at Carlisle two years ago and lightly-raced since, notching another win at Huntingdon two starts back when getting up to win by a length in a Handicap Hurdle. Looked as if he would come on for the run when last of 5 on his Chase debut in October at Worcester and is open to progress here. Wears first-time cheek-pieces but might find the front two in the market too much to handle today.
2 I Just Know – Point winner in Ireland who on seasonal re-appearance when making all at Hexham last month to score easily by 10 lengths in a Handicap Chase. Fair second at Market Rasen on latest start when pulling hard early and yard is in good form with two winners at Sedgefield yesterday. Should go close.
3 Golden Investment – Irish Point winner who won a Handicap Hurdle at Kelso two starts ago in May, getting up to win by 3 ¼ lengths. Unseated rider when a well-backed favourite at Ayr – didn’t jump well that day. Can be forgiven that run and is dangerous to discount here provided his jumping issues have been ironed out.
4 St Johns Point – Has been pulled up on his last three starts including on two come-back runs so far this term at Southwell and then Uttoxeter. Hard to fancy here back up in trip.
5 Two Smokin Barrels – Has won a Point and scored on his second outing under Rules in a Mares Maiden Hurdle in April, doing it well enough by ½ a length when well-backed into odds-on. Fair fourth on his Handicap debut and best watched for now unless well-backed in the market.
6 Mister Don – Has won twice already this term, scoring at Kelso in a 6-runner event at Kelso in October winning by 1 ¾ lengths before adding to his tally, with a shoulder-length victory in a Handicap Chase at Doncaster last week. Up 5lb for that victory but likely to find a few too good today over this trip.