2.45pm Chepstow Tips & Betting Preview 20/01/2017

A field of eight go to post for the third race of the day at Chepstow, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: Shaama Grise made a promising start to life in Britain when second at Chepstow earlier in the month and has to be respected but this seems to be a good opportunity for ATLANTA ABLAZE to add another victory to her race record. A winner in novice company, she was far from disgraced when fourth in a listed race at Haydock in December and makes her handicap debut off a mark of 118. That doesn’t seem overly harsh and she’ll appreciate this drop in class, so has to be respected and looks the likeliest winner today.

1 HIDDEN IDENTITY – Useful form at his best including a fourth in the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle at the Festival in the Festival in 2014 but everything has gone wrong since. She has a 50% completion race in six runs since, and returned from a big absence last month when third at Lingfield (2m 3f, Good to Soft), which wasn’t a bad effort in the circumstances. A winner off 7lb higher at her best, she is unlikely to improve at this stage in her career as an 11 year old and looks vulnerable today off of top weight.

2 ATLANTA ABLAZE – Won a novices’ hurdle at Ludlow in October (2m 5f, Good to Firm) and has been consistent since, running well in a listed race at Haydock when last seen (2m 2f, Soft). Drops back down in class which will be a big help and today’s conditions will be perfect, with it still certainly being early days for her. She is likely to show more on handicap debut off a mark of 118 in calmer waters and has to be respected for Henry Daly and Jake Greenall.

3 CULTURE DE SIVOLA – Consistent sort whose not had the easiest of runs the last twice, falling when starting to struggle at Fontwell in November (2m 3f, Good) and didn’t see out the trip in poor conditions at Ffos Las in December (2m 4f, Heavy). Slight drop back in trip is a big help, though these softer conditions are a slight concern for her. Lizzie Kelly takes off 5lb and she’s likely to run a good race, so has to be considered

4 SHAAMA GRISE – Useful form in France when with the Lassaussaye yard and wasn’t disgraced when a close second at Chepstow a few weeks ago (2m, Heavy). Goes up in trip which is bound to help and has conditions to suit. Has however been raised 5lb for that opening effort so does need to show more, but is thoroughly unexposed and the David Pipe yard are starting to hit a bit of form, so has to be respected as a main danger.

5 LOVES DESTINATION – Very consistent in the main including three wins over hurdles, but was never at the races at Fontwell on Boxing Day, laboured throughout (2m 5f, Good to Soft). Stays on the same mark and has conditions to suit but that last run is hard to forget and others are in good form, so it is hard to get excited about her chances today. Probably best watched off this mark as she doesn’t seem to be improving.

6 BELLS ON SUNDAY – Showed promise before not winning out of turn at Newcastle on Boxing Day, holding on well despite strong pressure on the run-in (2m 4f, Soft). Wasn’t so good on her latest start when pulled up at Wetherby when pulling hard, which was disappointing (3m, Soft). Conditions are fine and is certainly capable of better, but she really does need to settle better and has a 7lb claimer on board who will have to work hard to get her settled. Place claims if back at best with the Tom Lacey hitting form at present.

7 AT FIRST LIGHT – Hard to catch right in recent times but has put in some good efforts this season, finishing midfield on his latest start at Ffos Las (2m 4f, Heavy). Certainly needs to show more and seems vulnerable for win purposes at the moment as she isn’t progressive. Others have stronger claims today, though it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her run into a place if others under perform.

8 MISTY MAI – Lightly raced seven year old who won on hurdling debut at Ffos Las (2m 4f, Good) but has been mainly poor since. Her latest second over the same C&D wasn’t a bad effort and she holds At First Light and Culture De Sivola on that form, though has been raised 3lb. Looks risky on balance though she’d have to be given place claims if building upon her latest run in conditions that suit.

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