Ten runners have been declared for the Class 3 handicap chase over 2m3f at Wetherby on Wednesday. Read our horse-by-horse race preview for our experts’ betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: THE GREY TAYLOR has some questions to answer after a couple of disappointing efforts but is a second-season chaser with potential to improve over a new trip today and he gets the nod. Gurkha Brave ran quite a bit better than the bare facts suggest when a 19l third to a very progressive winner at Kelso last month and is a respected second choice. Off The Ground flopped when favourite for his reappearance run last month but it would be dangerous to rule out a return to form. Degooch appears to be making progress and is another to consider.
1 Art Of Logistics – Gave a very good account when third at Newbury (2m4f, good) on his debut for Philip Hobbs in April but his subsequent form has been rather disappointing and he looked held when unseating his rider at the final fence at Stratford last month; current mark is workable but he hasn’t won since June 2014 and others are more appealing.
2 Pair Of Jacks – Came from off the pace to beat Alderbrook Lad off today’s mark at Cartmel (3m1f) in July but hasn’t been in the same form on either subsequent start over that sort of trip; can cope with this drop back in distance but has some questions to answer at present.
3 The Grey Taylor – Ended last season with a disappointing effort and made low-key return to action over hurdles last month but took well to fences last season, most notably when making all by 10l at Carlisle (2m, good) a year ago, and it’s quite possible he has more to offer in this sphere now upped in trip.
4 Lord Wishes – Mixes hurdling with chasing and has very good 8-24 overall strike-rate; won consecutive starts in June (hurdle/chase) but the evidence from his last couple of hurdle runs suggests he’s on a tough mark now; needs to produce a new career-best performance to win this.
5 Off The Ground – Currently 4lb lower than when a very creditable second to a progressive rival at Doncaster (2m3f, good) last November; lost his way towards the end of last season and was a very disappointing favourite when back in action last month but no surprise if he returns to form here.
6 Alderbrook Lad – Goes well at Cartmel and ran a big race there when second to Pair Of Jacks over 3m1f in July but has been soundly beaten on both starts since then; current mark is workable and he should be okay over today’s trip but it’s probably wise to look elsewhere for the winner.
7 Ashcott Boy – Has made excellent progress over fences since this time last year, winning five times along the way (2m-2m4f); needs the refitted cheekpieces to help him bounce back from a heavy defeat last month, though, and some of this season’s form suggests the handicapper has his measure now.
8 Presenting Junior – Enjoyed an excellent 2014/15 campaign, winning seven times, but failed to hit the target last season and wasn’t quite firing on all cylinders when last seen in the spring; current mark certainly not beyond him if he’s been refreshed by a summer break but he might need a stiffer stamina test than this now.
9 Gurkha Brave – 2-7 since switched to fences about a year ago, with both the wins gained in smallish fields over 2m at Carlisle in spring; ran well for a long way when third (albeit well held in the end) at Kelso (2m1f, good) last month and will be fine over today’s trip; enters calculations.
10 Degooch – Two wins since fitted with blinkers this summer, the more recent in small-field event at Sedgefield (2m5f, good) last month; also ran well when third at Worcester (2m4f, good) on latest outing and, although he remains on a career-higher mark, he can make his presence felt again here.
myracing Forecast Prices: 4/1 Art Of Logistics, 5/1 Degooch, 6/1 Gurkha Brave, 7/1 The Grey Taylor, Lord Wishes, 8/1 Off The Ground, Presenting Junior, 10/1 Pair Of Jacks, Ashcott Boy, 14/1 Alderbrook Lad