SFUMATO (5.55) is a very interesting traveller to Chepstow from Iain Jardine’s base outside Dumfries.
The gelding is best over six furlongs on quick ground and that is what he will get at the Welsh track. His recent third to Dapper Man over five furlongs was an eye-catcher and races off a 2lb lower mark this evening. Factor in Patrick Vaughan’s 7lb claim plus a first-time visor and things look well set up for Sfumato, a winner over six furlongs at Lingfield for previous trainer Roger Charlton.
BID ADIEU (9.05) has a big chance in the finale. Maroc and Glens Wobbly both like to blast off in front and the race may well be set up nicely for Richard Hughes’s gelding. He didn’t seem to get home over an extra two furlongs when mastered by Volpone Jelois at the last Chepstow fixture and previously he was hampered when fifth at Windsor.
QUEEN OF CONNAUGHT (8.35) drops back into novice stakes grade after her respectable fifth to Royal Ascot-bound Perfect Clarity in the Lingfield Oaks Trial. She had previously beaten Sir Michael Stoute’s Phantasmic at Wolverhampton over tonight’s 1m 4f trip.
AWESOME ALLAN (8.05 is kept busy but stands his racing well. His course and distance third to Harry Beau and Oeil De Tigre looks very solid with the runner-up going on to score three times at Goodwood. The drop to five furlongs is a slight concern but he’ll go off an each-way price.
Mark Johnston’s fancied Sandown raiders always seem to go well at the Esher track. ACLIMATISE (3.45) won’t be a terrific price under Ryan Moore but is officially 3lb well in.
Alan King runs BERINGER (4.50) under a 6lb penalty after the son of Sea The Stars won with plenty in hand at Leicester. His previous second to Shuhood at Newmarket is working out with the third and fourth horses, Whitehall and Morning Skye, performing well next time.
I’ll be having a decent each-way bet at big prices on a couple at York, both running in seriously competitive handicaps.
Old boy ALFRED HUTCHINSON (3.30) has been given a chance by the handicapper, having been dropped a pound for his fourth to Magic City here almost three weeks ago. He is a stone better off at the weights with the winner and has a terrific record at the Knavesmire. Stall 18 isn’t ideal but with some firms going five places, Alfred Hutchinson is too tempting to resist.
Another handicapper with proven York form is COTE D’AZUR (2.20). The gelding ran sixth in a Listed contest won by Here Comes When (runs 4.05) here last May and has been dropped 7lbs in the interim. He likes to get out in front and led his group for a long way when third in last autumn’s Cambridgeshire. His most recent run, again at York, saw Cote D’Azur finish sixth to Manjaam but that came over 1m 4f, a distance well in excess of his best. The hood is on today and I’ll be disappointed if he is not involved.
If there are funds available after an exhausting day’s punting SAROOG (8.45) should readily break his duck in the 1m 6f maiden at Goodwood.
- Chepstow 5.55 – Sfumato (7-2, bet365)
- Chepstow 9.05 – Bid Adieu (9-4, Ladbrokes)
- Chepstow 8.35 – Queen Of Connaught (6-4, Paddy Power)
- Chepstow 8.05 – Awesome Allan (7-2, bet365)
- Sandown 3.45 – Aclimatise (10-11, bet365)
- Sandown 4.50 – Beringer (5-2, bet365)
- York 3.30 – Alfred Hutchinson ew (16-1, bet365)
- York 2.20 – Cote D’Azur ew (11-1, bet365)
- Goodwood 8.45 – Saroog (11-8, Paddy Power)
Johnb's Friday Tips
- York 2.20 – Nathan 6-1 ew 1/5 odds 3 places
- York 4.40 – Maid In India 11-4
- York 5.15 – Zihaam 9-1 ew 1/4 odds 3 places NB
- Chepstow 7.0 – Dashing Poet 13-8 NAP
- Fairyhouse 8.20 – Smiling Eliza 7-2
- Goodwood 8.45 – Beer With The Boys 7-1 ew 1/5 odds 3 places