After a 7/1 runaway winner for our daily tipster yesterday, he's hoping to make it two in two days with a double figure selection...
Having a hunter chase that's not open to all during the qualification period for the renamed St James's Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters' Steeple Chase (the race might be over before you've got that out) is puzzling to me but that's exactly what we have today at Wetherby.
Road To Rome makes his return from injury and if he is at his best then the rest of these are very likely to be running for second. However, given the serious nature of the injury and that he's coming back from 659 days off, that is a big 'if'. Even a slight below par Road To Rome would still beat this field but given his short price and the doubts over him, I can pass.
Duhallow Tornado shares favouritism with him and he's coming back off a much shorter break having only been seen seven days ago at Catterick where he finished second. He didn't travel well or jump particularly well that day, the latter a regular occurrence for him, so he did well to finish second in the circumstances. Blinkers go on for the first time today and could spark him up but again I can pass at a short price.
A major change in hunter chases this season has been professional jockeys taking over in the saddle and, in a few cases, resulting in a big positive jockey switch. In this race, that's the case with Itstimeforapint. While Leanne Williamson has looked a competent rider in point to points, she is very inexperienced and has only ridden one winner so Jack Savage replacing her has to be considered a big positive.
Itstimeforapint was a thorough stayer in his time with Lucinda Russell, winning over 4m at Hexham and 3m5½f at Bangor in heavy ground. He's continued to look that since joining Williamson to run in points, often being outpaced on decent ground over 3m.
His only outing in the curtailed last point to point season at Chaddesley was an improvement on his previous four runs for Williamson. Handy from the off, he was outpaced early in the home straight by Hidden Charmer and Tb Broke Her before staying on from 2 out to only finish 4½ lengths behind the winner.
Outside of the front pair in the market there are plenty of doubtful stayers or horses that are not certain to appreciate the soft ground. That opens the door for Itstimeforapint to run better than the market is expecting and hopefully he will be staying on strongly when others have cried enough.
RHYS' PROFIT/LOSS 2021
P&L: +6.00 points