Day 1 of the Open meeting concludes with an amateur riders’ chase over 3m1f. Read our race preview for our experts’ betting tips.
Silvergrove ran a huge race over a slightly longer trip when third in the Kim Muir Chase at the Cheltenham festival in March and could have more to offer over fences this season, so it’s easy to understand why he features prominently in the betting. Similarly, David Pipe’s 6yo What A Moment makes plenty of appeal, given he’s very unexposed over fences and cruised stylishly into contention before finishing a clear second on his chasing debut at Aintree last month.
However, there are some tempting options at much bigger prices and the vote goes to 2013 Scottish Grand National hero GODSMEJUDGE. The 10yo is yet to add to that success and was well below his best form last season but has slipped to a dangerous handicap mark and there is a chance he might have been perked up by a switch from Alan King’s stable to the care of David Dennis. He’ll be ideally suited by today’s ground and, given the emphasis is usually on stamina in races of this nature, his form over marathon trips adds to his appeal.
Also of interest at around 25/1 is Themanfrom Minella, who was disappointing over 3m1f here in April but produced a good performance to gain a clearcut win at Exeter two starts ago and remains quite well handicapped on some of his hurdle form if back on song after a summer break.
Experience Irish amateur rider Jamie Codd is always a good man to have onside in staying chases here and it’s amazing how often his patient tactics pay dividends. His mount Fayette County is an interesting contender after his breakthrough chase win over 2m7f at Worcester last month. The 9yo is unexposed over staying trips and has scope to build on his latest performance but the Worcester race wasn’t a proper test at the trip and his stamina needs to be taken on trust today.
At the foot of the weights, Tony Martin’s runner Our Sox is a single-figure price, but he found an out-of-form rival too strong in a very ordinary three-runner contest at Musselburgh recently and is now 0-7 over fences, so it’s clear his trainer’s reputation has had an much bigger influence on his price than his form.
Bertie Boru has had jumping issues throughout his chasing career and suffered a heavy defeat here when last seen in April but stamina won’t be an issue and he’s been given a decent chance by the handicapper if able to get round without clouting too many of the fences. The final one to mention is the teenager Your Busy, who has run two very game races to be placed in veterans’ chases this autumn, more recently at Aintree (3m1f, good) 19 days ago. He’s rather one-paced nowadays but the uphill finish might help him here and he can give another good account.