Our racing expert marks your card for Thursday's action.
A fair few of today’s jumps races don’t appeal as betting mediums and most of the remaining contests look decidedly tricky – roll on the start of the Flat!
That said, I’ve managed to find a couple of Chepstow handicappers who have the potential to improve on what they’ve been showing in recent starts and outrun their odds, although it’s best to keep stakes small and go each-way.
Mr Lando looks the one to beat in the opening 2m handicap hurdle as he’s 1lb well in under his 7lb penalty for making all at Plumpton 10 days ago in similar conditions. However that wasn’t much of a race and while this isn’t much better, the nine-year-old might prove vulnerable off top weight, albeit his conditional rider is taking 7lb off.
Still, he is giving a stone to the only course and distance winner in the field, Linda Blackford’s KAYF CHARMER. The eight-year-old is impossible to fancy on this season’s form figures (4P0U0) but the upside is that he has dropped in the weights as a result and is able to run off a mark just 2lb higher than his last winning one, with Conor Smith taking a further 5lb off. Another reason to think he can step up on previous efforts is the ‘w’ after his name on the race card, which indicates he has had wind surgery since his last run.
The handicap chase over an extended 2m7f is going to be a real stamina test in the conditions and that will suit Michael Scudamore’s STREETS OF PROMISE as the further and the softer the better for her. Like the first selection she needs to put some uninspiring efforts this season (form figures 9467) behind her, but there are grounds for expecting a revival this afternoon as she too has come down the weights, and by some way. Having started this season on a perch of 131, she lines up here on an 18lb lower mark and has won off 17lb higher.
There’s more to like as a quick glance at her CV reveals that she reserves her best efforts for the spring, with her six wins under Rules coming in February through to June. The red-hot form of her stable is the real clincher for the bet, though. Of the ten horses Scudamore has run in the last fortnight, four have ended up in the winners’ enclosure, including the last two, both of whom were ridden like the selection by Tom Scudamore.
All odds were correct at time of posting.