Irish point winner hunting for more
13:00 Huntingdon: Jerminnie Green 22/1: 0.5 points each-way
Fable heads the market for the mares' maiden hurdle at Huntingdon after a promising run on rules debut at Wincanton but it's another horse whose most recent start came at that track whose price appeals.
Jerminnie Green started her career in Irish points and got off the mark at the fourth attempt before joining Alan King. She looked a stayer in the pointing sphere and that impression has continued under rules, with two encouraging efforts over hurdles. She stayed on well late on at Ludlow when fifth behind subsequent Grade 2 third Misty Whisky and she followed that with a good run at Wincanton when fourth to Flash Collonges having not jumped completely fluently.
While today's test may be a bit sharper than ideal for Jerminnie Green, this is an easier race than both she has faced so far over hurdles and she looks a more reliable proposition than some of her rivals who have to prove their stamina, ability to jump and/or wellbeing so any 14-1 or bigger appeals.
Two pronged attack over at Chepstow
13:20 Chepstow: Sixteen Letters 25/1: 1 point each-way
Russian Invasion 50/1: 0.5 points each-way
I think those at the head of the market in the opening contest at Chepstow are potentially vulnerable and give reason to look elsewhere. Paris Dixie was disappointing last time and has to show she can handle this ground. Champagne Rhythm failed to take advantage of a good opportunity last time and is starting to be frustrating. Strike Hollow fell last time, Kingsplace was disappointing at Hereford and while Red Lion Lad showed promise at Exeter, he looked an awkward ride and has disappointed since.
Such a contest is unlikely to have been Russian Invasion's intended target this season having been bought by Dean Summersby for £5,000 in September. However, with the point to point season halted, his attention has been turned to racing under rules and he shaped well on his first start for 478 days at this track over 2m7½f. He travelled well for a long way and was one of a tightly-packed leading group of five at 3 out before stopping quickly on the run to 2 out and being pulled up.
That was a good race, won by Young Buck who may have added a Grade 2 success but for coming down at 3 out at Haydock, and the distance in very testing ground proved too much for Russian Invasion. It is a bit worrying just how quickly he stopped and it may be that he has a problem but the 50-1, I think the market has underestimated his chance, simply because he was pulled up.
Sixteen Letters has been a very contesting and good, if rather frustrating at times, pointer over the past few seasons and he's another whose attentions are now switched to racing under rules due to the lack of pointing at the moment. He has had two starts under rules, the first in a bumper when finishing fifth at Exeter and he finished fourth in the 2019 Intermediate Final. Two of those finishing ahead of him that night were Latenightpass, who won a strong hunter chase at Warwick earlier this season, and Salvatore, who won a hunter chase at Musselburgh earlier this season.
A consistent aspect of Sixteen Letters' runs in point to points has been his smooth travelling nature through a race. Fairly often, that's been coupled with him not finding as much in the closing stages as would seem likely given how well he's travelled. Going back to his first start for Kayley Woollacott, he travelled all over As I See It (now rated 131 over hurdles) at Buckfastleigh but got caught late on.
Two of his three most recent starts in points have told a similar tale. He was left clear 2 out at Upcott Cross on his final starts of the 2018/19 season only to idle victory away and then on his first start of last season at Milborne St Andrew, he challenged at the last and looked to be going best only to constantly edge right on the run in and was beaten a short head.
I think Sixteen Letters will cope with this shorter trip under rules given how well he travels and hopefully he can be delivered with a suitably late challenge. The market has completely ignored his chance and 50-1 (time of writing) significantly underplays his ability.