With a superb day of racing at Ascot in store for Saturday, Alan Dudman has two big-priced selections with his final preview before Christmas...
"Chesterfield was a progressive horse last term with a handicap win at Aintree, and a gritty performance to win the Scottish Champion Hurdle. As a Grade 2 winner, he more than deserves his place in the line-up and runs from a mark of 146."
Despite a whopping 13lb rise in the handicap for Gary Moore's Casse Tete, there could be plenty more mileage in this up-and-comer as he starts his campaign in a decent contest at Ascot.
The hike in the weights is a result of a thumping 27 length victory at Sandown last March; a 0-140 affair that was taken apart by the young chaser.
However, it wasn't all skittles and champagne for him last term after a heavy fall on his UK debut at Lingfield - a race in which he travelled quite well in. His two subsequent starts were disappointing as he wasn't getting home in his races, but we saw the real Casse Tete at Sandown.
He has winning form from his French days in very soft ground, so conditions won't be problematic on Saturday. He's rated 144 and we are getting 9/1 on the Sportsbook to find out if he is up to that - but the way he moved and jumped last term on his final start suggests there could be a few more races to be won with him for his excellent yard.
I am going to take a bit of a swing at one here in the big hurdle race of the day (formerly known as The Ladbroke), and I cannot resist having a small dart each-way on Chesterfield at a rather large 22/1 on the Sportsbook.
You need to be a forgiving type following his run at Cheltenham last time in the Greatwood, but it was his first outing of the season and he came up the inside that day - which wasn't the place to be. He had excuses.
Chesterfield was a progressive horse last term with a handicap win at Aintree, and a gritty performance to win the Scottish Champion Hurdle. As a Grade 2 winner, he more than deserves his place in the line-up and runs from a mark of 146.
He has good ground form, but he has performed well in soft conditions too - and if you go back far enough he travelled well in rain-softened ground in his John Ferguson days at Cheltenham a few years ago.
Plus we have a jockey claiming in a big race which is worth its weight in gold, and Daniel Sansom had a winner at the meeting yesterday.
Alan's Bets of the Day - P/L
This week so far: -1.00
Previous week: -6.62