Though Chester will get the most attention for racing on Wednesday, Rizzel sets his sights on Kelso, Newton Abbot & Fontwell.
Though he is short in the market, I do think that LESSER will be hard to beat if he continues his progression.
Richard Phillips’ 7yo is 3/3, winning once over fences in a PTP, once in a bumper and recently winning over hurdles. His PTP form has worked out well, beating a horse called Milanford by 6 lengths. That horse has started his life over fences with Nick Mitchell and is currently rated 137 after finishing 2nd in a Grade 2. Lesser made easy work of his bumper and hurdle debuts, winning by a combined 36 lengths.
Richard Phillips sends his horse on a 620-mile round trip from Gloucester to Kelso, with this being his first runner at the course.
Newton Abbot 1:30
The top two in the market both raced against each other at the end of March, and I am siding with PADSTOW HARBOUR to win again.
On that day, Dragon Bones unseated her rider two from home, but in my opinion, she would not have beaten Padstow Harbour. Dragon Bones was getting pushed along a little while before the unseat, and throughout the race her jumping was sketchy. Whereas, Padstow Harbour travelled the best, made ground from the rear of the field to second without any issue, and jumped fluently. Sean Bowen was only using hands & heels when she won, and it looked like she had a few more gears to go through, I would imagine she will have improved since that run.
I would expect this race to between the top two in the market, with Largy G maybe filling the places.
Newton Abbot 3:05
On paper this looks like a competitive race, but the more I read into it I liked the chances of SOLDIER OF LOVE to come out victorious.
Carrying top weight in a race like this won’t be easy, but he is a horse who can carry big weights, shown by winning off 12st 2lbs, 11st 12/11.
Newton Abbot seems to bring the best out of this horse; he managed to rack up a treble at this course last summer, beating some decent horses along the way. On his last win at this track, he beat Coole Cody, who has since run many big races, including winning the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham. Irish Prophecy was 3rd behind Soldier Of Love, and he has improved 11lbs, winning once and being placed twice since.
I think you can put a line through the PU at Cheltenham behind The Big Breakaway as he didn’t like the soft ground. With no forecast rain, he should get the good ground he enjoys.
SCHNABEL looks to have a found a nice chance to complete a two timer. He has been raised 5lbs for his recent win over C&D, but this race does not look particularly strong, with a lot of the horses being out of form. Dark Flame is down to a low mark and could be the main opposition if he is handicapped well enough, even at the age of 12.