Evan Williams set for a good day at Chepstow
We really should have been celebrating a 47/1 double today after yesterday's exploits. With Respect indeed proved well treated and won at a BSP of 9.22, while Sami Bear hit 1.501/2 in-running and was leading coming up to the last, and as a strong stayer surely would have won.
However, his jink before the last hurdle sent Freddie Gordon with no chance. It's the second unseat of the week - and both would have collected in my opinion.
Time for another Doyen
Back Doyen Star @ 5.59/2 in the 13:30 Chepstow
Friday starts at Chepstow with Doyen Star in the opening 2m Novice Hurdle and Evan Williams is looking for back-to-back wins in this race as he won it last year with the 6/4 favourite Current Mood.
Doyen Star was a winning pointer on debut (and sole start in that sphere) and was subsequently sold to the Rucker family for 120,000 and looked a good prospect winning on his hurdling debut over CD in November.
He travelled super smooth into the race on the inside on that occasion and despite showing some greenness approaching the last hurdle, his jumping of three flights down the straight was faultless.
The sectional time recorded a race finishing speed of nearly 110% and he dealt with the pace injection comfortably down the long run for home, and in keeping with his pedigree, he stayed well. Most of the Rucker horses are purchased for a trip.
He's also by one of my favourite jumps' stallions in Doyen. He will have to be quite decent to win this as it looks above average with Crebilly rated 128, but he'll go well on the ground, even if it rides softer than the official good to soft.
Duc to rule on his debut
Back Duc Du Rene @ 8.07/1 in the 16:40 at Chepstow
I am sticking with the Evan Williams/Rucker axis for the second bet with bumper newcomer Duc Du Rene in the finale. He's a big enough price to go each-way at 7/1 and could well drift behind a favourite short in the betting and with experience.
The stable are surprisingly 0-17 in bumpers this season, but stats are there to be broken and he's a daughter of Lady Rene - a mare who has produced three winners including the 132-rated Annie Angel, and she throws up stayers. Indeed, Dun Doire is in her pedigree and he saw out 3m2f well.
Adam Wedge has four winners this term at Chepstow and again, this looks a well-above average race with Royal Defender for David Pipe a costly purchase at 155k and a favourite who runs under a penalty and a short enough price at 11/8. The 7s looked good for an each-way run and three places.