A frustrating weekend with another couple of early casualties on Saturday, but we finished the week ending Sunday, 6/11, +£6.47 to £1 level stakes with the month of October +£1.03 to date.
The discrepancy being that we had a good Monday – the final day of October. Our P&L since we started collating the stats on 1/08/22 stands at +£118.82 up to and including 31/10/22 for a £1 level stake.
ERIC BLOODAXE has an excellent record fresh and has joined Gordon Elliot since his last start when runner up over three miles in a handicap here back in April for Joseph O’Brien.
Elliot fits his new inmate with cheekpieces for the first time this afternoon, and I think this two-and-a-half-mile trip on soft ground are his optimum conditions. Jack Kennedy takes the mount, and the tissue price of 6/4 looks attractive.
A mix of sunshine and showers at Hereford for their seven-race card. Conditions are likely to be on the soft side of good at best.
The feature race is the 2m 4f handicap chase, and the progressive Highstakesplayer has won three of his last four, including a facile win over C&D eight days ago on good ground. That was his chase debut, but he was fast and fluent at his obstacles and is equally adept on a slower surface. A 7lbs penalty may not stop him from following up.
Sheldon looked a natural when winning at Stratford on his first start over fences and an 8lbs rise looks fair. Ridgeway is the third runner in the field who is defending an unbeaten chase record, having won at Kempton on fast ground last month from an 8lbs lower mark.
The each-way vote, however, goes to COUPDEBOL, who was last seen coming down at the last at Uttoxeter’s Midlands National meeting back in March. He has been raised 4lbs for that effort and doesn’t have a particularly good record fresh, but Tom George has his string in excellent form of late – three winners from his last four runners in France – and the grey remains an exciting prospect.
It is possible that he won’t be fully tuned up for his reappearance, but I am convinced there are more races to be won with the 7-y-old this term.
Olly Murphy had a double at Aintree on Saturday, and the mare CELTIC TARA begins the campaign well handicapped, having run well in defeat in her last three starts from this mark last term. This 2m 7f trip is on the sharp side for the selection, but there was significant rain forecast for the track on Monday afternoon and overnight, which should suit the mare.
At the time of writing, the sole tissue I have seen suggests Baddesley and Captain Claude will head the market, but both are doubtful stayers, especially if the rain arrives.
Chichester has been put in a short price in the valuable 10f handicap, and he has been knocking on the door of late for Keith Dalgleish. He is still 3lbs above his highest winning mark, however, although he has run very well in defeat from higher marks in the past. He has never won on Polytrack but has some very good form on the surface.
NATURAL WORLD has been off the course for over three months and makes his all-weather debut for Charlie Appleby this evening. The gelding was below par when last seen at Goodwood in a first-time hood, and the headgear is left off this evening.
The selection won first time out this season, beating Ottoman Fleet, who is now rated a stone higher than the mark the Godolphin. Adam Kirby takes the ride, with William Buick and James Doyle taking time off post their successes in the Breeders’ Cup at the weekend.
* Betting odds correct at the time of publication. All odds are subject to changes.