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Thursday saw us have two winners when it should have been a full house. I cannot describe the ride by Connor Brace on Newmill Getaway. It was a honking ride, left the horse with far too much to do and in the end got beat by a 70 rated hurdler who was gambled into 5/1 from 20/1…how convenient.
Chepstow 1:35 – Good Boy Bobby 7/2 (1pt)
The jumps season has now officially started as this Chepstow meeting is the starting point and winter is upon us. Chepstow is expecting a decent amount of rain during the early hours of the morning and that might make it quite testing, and with soft conditions likely to happen I thought Good Boy Bobby was of interest in this Veterans race.
I'm a big fan of backing 10yo's in the veterans' races as this is the youngest eligible age you can be to run in this type of race, and at the age of 10 they are probably on the decline, but nowhere near as much as the even older horses. Good Boy Bobby has been on the slide and his handicap mark has plummeted as a result, but in this type of race on ground which he seems to enjoy, I think he might have found a decent opportunity to get a win on the board. On his day he is a very useful horse, and the performance on Boxing Day back in 2021 on soft ground in the Grade 3 at Wetherby is a performance which always comes back to me when thinking about this horse. That win was off a 14lb higher mark than today and definitely in a deeper race. I think you can counteract the poor form of this horse with him returning to racing with the Twiston-Davies stable absolutely flying, they have their horses in great form at the moment and there's no doubt in my mind they'd have picked this race out a few months ago for this horse's first seasonal target.
Chepstow 3:23 – Chianti Classico 11/4 (1pt Bet365)
It won't be an easy assignment for Chianti Classico to win this type of race on chase debut, but I've always thought he was a chaser in the making and it's the old cliche, whatever he did over hurdles is a bonus as he's always going to make a better chaser.
He bombed out at Cheltenham, but he wasn't fancied for the Albert Bartlett, going off at odds of 66/1. However, his runs prior to that, albeit he won at short odds, he looks like a horse with a good amount of class about him. Watching him over 2m 5f and slightly shorter I firmly believed that he needed further, so it's interesting they are going 2m 7f on chase debut. He has already shown he can jump a fence as he was 1/1 as a PTP horse before moving to Kim Bailey's yard, and he showed he had the pace when winning a bumper and producing an RPR of 118.
The forecast rain doesn't concern me as he demolished the bumper field in his win and he has handled good to soft very well in all of his wins over hurdles. Kim Bailey has had a couple of winners in recent days, which bodes well for his future runners making their comebacks.
Newmarket 4:10 – Ylang Ylang 4/1 (2pt)
I am keeping the faith with Ylang Ylang which might surprise a few as she let me down last time out and was poor the time before, but I firmly believe she can be a very good filly.
I wasn't too keen on the ride Ryan Moore gave Ylang Ylang last time out at Newmarket and I'd imagine people would've said the same about Oisin Murphy's ride on Shuwari as they were paired at the back of the field when the winner was away and gone from the front. To me, it looked like Ylang Ylang is ready for the step up to a mile, and probably a bit further, but there's no doubt in my mind that the mile she encounters today will definitely help her run to a higher level. According to Aidan, they were delighted with how she ran last time out and were happy with how relaxed she was through the race, so Ryan must've been riding to instructions, and it wasn't all about that race and more about teaching her for the future.
Newmarket is expecting some rain, and based on her pedigree I think that will play to her strengths, and anything which will make it more of a stamina test I think it will suit my selection more. She's always going to be priced up shorter than she probably should be, but I am a believer of hers and I hope my faith is repaid.
Chepstow - 1:35 pm
7/2 @ The Pools
Chepstow - 3:23 pm
11/4 @ Bet365
Newmarket - 4:10 pm