Our resident tipster likes a trio of runners at Chepstow this afternoon.
Warwick and Chepstow share jumping duties this afternoon and with nothing really catching the eye at the former, it’s the Welsh track that provides today’s bets.
The 2m3f maiden hurdle (due off 1.45pm) looks a bit of a minefield at first glance with 16 set to go to post and several big stables represented. The betting should provide a good clue, but I’m reasonably confident that Philip Hobbs will have TAPACULO fit and ready for what is his hurdles debut after a promising third on his sole bumper start at Exeter back in May. He was just half a length behind the highly-regarded winner Air Horse One that day and would have won in a few more strides.
That effort and his pedigree – he’s by Kayf Tara, a strong influence for stamina – suggests he will be suited by the step up to today’s trip and his trainer clearly likes him, describing him in a recent Stable Tour as being a “lovely sort with bags of improvement and could be a really useful novice hurdler.” Hobbs has’s been banging in the winners of late and does well here especially – he can boast a 19% strike rate at the track over the past five seasons – so there’s lots to like about the four-year-old’s chances.
Hobbs could be on the mark again with SYKES in the 2m7f handicap hurdle (3.20pm). The six-year-old showed the benefit of his reappearance second when dead-heating at Aintree last month and may have won that race outright if he’d jumped the last a little more cleanly – he had jumped well up to that point. His trainer considered him well handicapped beforehand so nothing will have changed there as he escapes a penalty, leaving him on the same mark of 188, and he has ample scope to keep on improving after just four starts. With Richard Johnson taking over from a claimer, he can go in again.
The closing bumper is full of horses with potential and they include the Alan King-trained MINELLA CHARMER, who is a good-looking son of King’s Theatre. He has had the benefit of a run and it was a good one too; third place in a Limerick bumper back in April, though backers would have expected a bit better as he was well supported into 11/4 before the off. He’s due to embark on a hurdles campaign for his new trainer but there’s good reason to think he can first win in this sphere having reportedly pleased King since coming over from Ireland. Declared a non-runner this morning.