Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 11:21 11/12/2014
The withdrawal of Big George this morning has left Aye Well at the head of the betting for the Class 4 P.D. Ports Novices' Handicap Chase at 2.50 Newcastle, but the market leader may not be able to make his presence felt carrying top-weight in such testing conditions and Wakhan could be about to steal the show from further down the handicap at best odds 4/1 with William Hill.
Sue Smith's 6-year-old has been in good heart of late, posting creditable runner-up efforts over 3 miles and 2 miles, 1 furlong at Kelso in October before proving to be versatile when it comes to conditions underfoot when going close on heavy ground at Hexham when last seen in early November. Jockey Jonathan England looked to get on well enough with the bay gelding on that occasion and takes of 3lb with his allowance today, which should put Wakhan bang there dropping back a furlong in trip.
Elsewhere in the field Be A Dreamer could be the main danger to the selection if getting the hang of chasing at the first attempt, but Wakhan is lightly-weighted and has been running consistently enough, so gets the vote at the current prices.