2.10pm Chepstow Tips & Betting Preview 22/01/2016

2.10pm Chepstow Saturday 22nd January

Free Tip: Loughalder at 16/1 EW

Race Details

Race Time: 2.10pm Meeting: Chepstow Day: Friday 22nd January 2015 Full Race Name: County Marquees Handicap Chase Class Four

Race Preview:

Fourteen runners are all set to line up for this three mile handicap chase, ranging from seven year olds pretty much starting their handicapping careers, to thirteen year olds heading to retirement in the not too distant future – an interesting race for Friday afternoon.

1 Wellforth (25/1) – No longer a youngster at the age of twelve, he has won races off of much higher marks than he carries today but is very much going backwards. He has won over further and on heavy going so nothing much concerns him there, and he is racing off of a rating a full fifteen pounds lower than his last victory at Bangor – though that was way back in August 2012, a run of sixteen consecutive losses that looks unlikely to be broken here.

2 Fine Parchment (18/1) – It would be fair to say it is pretty unusual to see a thirteen year old in first time blinkers over fences but that is the case with this son of Presenting who is looking for is ninth win from forty-two starts. He has not won since 2013, but he is very well weighted at his best (has scored off of eighteen pounds higher), and should be coming to his peak after three runs this season following a long lay off – place chances at a price perhaps.

3 Castarnie (10/1) – The joint highest rated of the younger contenders, this eight year old has only had four races over fences, winning two at the beginning of 2015 and seeing his rating go up twenty-three pounds in total. He looked as if he needed the run when sixth to Big Society here on his first run for nine months but should strip a lot fitter here and may have more room for improvement than many of his rivals today, we just wish the Robert Walford stable were in among the winners.

4 Copper Birch (7/1) – One chase win from thirteen attempts isn’t too encouraging but after scoring at Taunton a year ago, the handicapper took offence and put him up eight ponds which seemed to halt his progress, resulting in a trio of third places from his next six runs, but no signs of another victory. He has slowly slipped back down the weights to a winnable mark, and has scored over this trip on heavy going all be it over hurdles – not without an outsiders chance of a place.

5 Our Island (40/1) – As a son of Turtle Island we have no concerns about the underfoot conditions, while he has won over the three mile trip on four occasions including a point to point in Ireland. Hasn’t won a race since scoring at Kelso in October 2012 (a run of eleven losses), and hasn’t been seen under rules since may 2014 though he has been pointing and his fitness is assured and he is potentially very well weighted, if a little out of form.

6 I Am Colin (5/1) – Trained by the amiable Nigel Twiston-Davies, the seven year old has only had three starts over the larger obstacles, and placed in every one. Still a novice, it is interesting that connections send him in to a handicap so quickly, implying they may feel he is well handicapped but he is yet to really prove his stamina at this trip, and we can bypass him for that reason alone on this ground.

7 Call The Detective (9/2) – The only last time out winner in the field scored at Fontwell on heavy ground over a quarter of a mile further, and by twenty seven lengths, so needs to be taken very seriously. Put up a generous looking ten pounds for that win, he looked to have any amount in hand at the line and could improve again after only the two races over fences. Certainly in with a great chance but not necessarily any value in a tricky looking race and with so little experience on his side.

8 Long John (10/1) – Despite a win and a third in his last two outings this nine year old is not for us today with he three miles very possibly beyond him on the heavy going. His one win from eight starts over fences was over two miles and three furlongs, and in three attempts at over two and a half miles he is yet to score. Although he looked as if he was staying on over this trip at Exeter he was still beaten over twenty lengths, and plenty of others make more appeal.

9 Loughalder (16/1) – Won over three and a quarter miles on heavy going at Uttoxeter four races ago off a mark just three pounds lower than today’s, and has raced off up to a stone higher in the past after winning at Warwick in 2014 over three miles and five furlongs. Has run well enough recently with a good fourth over three and three quarter miles at Exeter that may have been too far, and can be forgiven his last run after slipping on the bend, leaving Charlie Poste with little choice but to pull him up. Looks well handicapped and stays further, making him excellent each way value this afternoon.

10 Kilrush (80/1) – Pulled up at Warwick in February 2014 and then off the track until pulled up again on his return to action at Exeter on New Year’s Day when sent off at odds of 100/1. He has got winning form from 2103 over hurdles but has yet to win in heavy going or over fences and seems sure to need another run as well to put him straight, so not for us today.

11 Buckhorn Tom (10/1) – With the Colin Tizzard yard doing so well this season all things are possible and this eight year old has won over this sort of trip and on this sort of ground, almost exactly a year ago at Exeter in a novice handicap chase. Rated 106 that day he is only a pound higher now, and has run well in defeat on numerous occasions as his rating came down so can be expected to run well here. He did look a little one paced when fifth to Rocky Bender when last seen with no excuses and could struggle to keep tabs on some if these again this afternoon, though his winning turn may not be that far away.

12 West Of The Edge (14/1) – Generally speaking a Class Five handicapper over fences and hurdles he stepped up on all past performances with a win at Market Rasen in this grade and at odds of 14/1 resulting in a thirteen pound weight rise which seems over the top. One race since saw him pulled up over three and three quarter miles at Catterick but that is fully understandable over such a marathon trip, and he may well run better here but one good race is not enough for him to interest us today

13 As De Fer (7/1) – Trainer Anthony Honeyball is having a good season and will be expecting a big run from this ten year old who has to be considered well weighted after jockey David Noonan takes off his five pound claim.  He cannot beat Loughalder on eight pounds better terms for thirty-two lengths based on Uttoxeter form but that was back in May and he may have been over the top for the season.  He would have place chances based on his second to Conas Taoi two races ago but was pulled up at Exeter last time out when Loughalder was fourth and has it all to prove today off the same mark having failed to score since 2011.

14 Georgian King (25/1) – With just the five runners in the past two weeks but two winners, Martin Keighley seems to have his horses in good form but that may not be enough for this thirteen year old to get involved today. Good to soft is the worst going he has ever won on in forty-four races with though he has finished third here in all three attempts at the track, but that ought to be clutching at straws ands not good enough for this race.


Loughalder (16/1) ticks all the each way boxes for us this afternoon with more than enough stamina and a liking for the rain softened ground.  His earlier form would see him have an excellent winning chance this afternoon and he had good reasons for pulling up last time out, which we can forgive him for. He will be running on late to get on top close home if everything goes according to plan and may not be quick enough to front run against some of these at this trip, but has an excellent record at the track (three wins and two places from just the seven starts) to suggest he should prove difficult to beat this afternoon.

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