A big field of staying chasers going to post in Chepstow’s 2.25. Four places each way will tempt plenty to have a bet, read on for our experts views and betting tip.
IN SUMMARY: An open race, with a case to be made for a number of these if at their best. Both Regal Flow and Financial Climate deserve plenty of respect while Sonny The One and Kilcullen Flem are likely improvers this season. Mountain Of Mourne has a good record fresh and could go well at a big price but this could be the day PADDY THE DEEJAY finally wins under rules. He’s a good looking, imposing type who looks sure to relish this step up in trip and having been well backed the last twice, can justify support now.
1 Regal Flow – Shaped well on his seasonal return at Cheltenham in a better race than this on his first start for a new yard. He has won second time out the last two seasons and from just one pound above his latest winning mark, he looks well treated. Below his best both runs at this quirky track which is a slight concern but legitimate excuses both times.
2 Loughalder – Produced back to back wins at a similar level before signing off for his summer break. Finds himself on a tough mark as a result and with a record of 0/13 from October to December, this isn’t his time of year, best to wait until the Spring to back him.
3 Farbreaga – A four time winner over fences, he is currently 8lbs lower than his most recent winning mark. He has however looked increasingly out of love with the game and while capable of making a case for him at this level, he’s a very risky proposition.
4 Financial Climate – Winless since March 2015 but this is his first time in a Class 4 contest since wining over C&D the February of that year. Has run well fresh in the past and from a workable mark, he has a sound each way chance if putting his best foot forward.
5 Sonny The One – Improved for going chasing last season, breaking his maiden in a slog at Taunton. Has left Colin Tizzard since last seen but his new yard have been among the winners and given his dam won three times as a ten year old, chances are he will continue to improve. The more rain the better for him from what looks a fair starting mark for the season.
6 Achimota – A dour stayer, but winless since a Bangor triumph in February 2015. Didn’t do a tap on his seasonal return, reappearing here just four days later sporting both first time blinkers and tongue strap. Connections clearly unhappy with his lack of effort at Uttoxeter but he is fairly treated on his best form if the aids have a positive effect.
7 Barton Gift – Another who (to dig out an old racing cliche) would stay longer than the mother in law, he starts the season on a stiff enough mark. Performs better in blinkers (than the cheekpieces he sports here) in recent times while a downpour to make this a real slog would help his cause.
8 Kilcullen Flem – Connections have wasted no time getting this son of Flemensfirth over fences. He was nibbled in the market at Warwick in February when running with a great deal of respect against Open Eagle and with his yard in better heart than all of last year, he is an interesting proposition.
9 Butlergrove King – On his second go round with Dai Burchill, having spent time with 3 other trainers as well in the last 18 months. He has placed form on heavy but the majority of his better form has come on a sound surface and he may just need the run.
10 Calin Du Brizais – Has looked a non stayer in a pair of tries at this trip in the past so it is slightly surprising that connections persevere. He travelled well on his return to suggest the mark is within reach but those stamina concerns mean he can only be watched.
11 Allez Vic – Undeniably well handicapped these days but his general level of form has looked to be on the downgrade. It’s nearly two years since he ran Cogry to less than a length over this C&D, anything close to that and he would be winning this but more than an each way squeak looks beyond him at present.
12 Paddy The Deejay – For a big horse, he is a slightly careless jumper which sounds a note of caution. He always catches the eye in the parade ring however and at just 7, he’s likely to have improvement in the tank as he continues to fill out his frame. A dual point to point winner over three miles, it’s a little surprising that this will be his rules debut at the trip. He has been well supported the last twice so connections likely feel he’s on a winnable mark and with the step up in trip to suit, he’s a big player here .
13 Dr Robin – Chasers from this yard are always worth a second look at Chepstow, boasting as they do a 22% strike rate for a 17 point profit in the last five seasons. His two career wins came on summer ground however and his half brother Witness In Court enjoys a sounder surface so the cut in the ground would be a concern.
14 Mountain Of Mourne – Has gone well fresh in the past, including when scoring at this track on his seasonal return last year. It’s hard to argue that he is well handicapped but he has a solid string of form to his name off similar marks so could well make the frame if ready to roll first time.
15 Court Frontier – Three miles with plenty of cut were the ingredients for success when trained in Ireland. He shaped well at Ffos Las over 2m5f when last seen, doing all his best work late on. He is probably a few pounds too high in the weights to be considered a likely winner but he has an each way chance.
16 Walk On Al – Thrown in on his very best form when trained by Dan Skelton, it’s a couple of years since he has shown any signs of life. He has joined the Fergal O’Brien yard who are currently enjoying a run of rude health and strikes as one well worth a look for market clues.
17 Cheat The Cheater – A winner of a pair of slow motion finishes at Towcester and Warwick last season that have seen his mark back into triple figures. He won off 115 in his younger days so there could be some mileage in his current rating but likely at an easier level than this.