Gulf out to prove Warwick was no fluke
Back Hauraki Gulf @ 8/1 in the 13:30 Chepstow
I would have liked to have been on Hauraki Gulf when he won on debut in a bumper at Warwick, although backed apparently from huge prices, he still went off at a BSP of 190 and hit a high of 330.
It was Deborah Cole's first winner since 2001, when Comedy Gayle won at Newton Abbot in a race that had Sir Anthony McCoy in behind in second. There's being on the cold list, and being exiled in Siberia. Cole took time out from racing and worked as a chef and hotel manager, so it was some comeback from her and a memorable day for jockey Gearoid Hearney, as Harauki Gulf was his first winner in Britain. He keeps the ride and is able to claim.
Aside from the side story, he is most certainly an each-way price at 15/2 as I am hoping he is going to prove his victory at Warwick as no fluke. Plenty of good yards were represented in that race, with Harry Fry having the favourite (unsurprisingly) and Dan Skelton, Alan King, Venetia Williams and Fergal O'Brien all having runners.
Harauki Gulf was held up but travelled pretty sweetly into contention over the far side towards the inner rail, and with a bit of work to do at the top of the straight, showed a good attitude to get himself into contention.
Hearney went for his stick a few times and the horse picked up well to squeeze between runners either side to pick up strongly. So he should suit today's step up to 2m4f.
Cole said they were confident he'd handle soft ground on his debut and the data from his Warwick win threw up his penultimate furlong at 13.97.
Back Advantura @ 4/1 in the 15:45 at Chepstow
The 15:45 has to be one of the worst races on the card, although we are spoilt for choice as it's the first division. That's not to say there isn't a bet as Advantura has found an extremely weak opening on handicap debut.
The downside is that the Philip Hobbs-trained horse has barely showed anything in three runs at Exeter beaten 36L, 35L and 46L. Last time out he hit the fourth hurdle and he also lost a shoe, plus the ground was extremely testing that day.
The new distance of 2m4f today is a plus, as he is one of the rare jumpers out of Watar - who was a stayer for Freddie Head in France, and he will not have to be a world beater from 87 in such a poor race to go close.
The favourite Breizh Alko is 11 years of age and had nearly 1000 days off the track prior to his comeback last time, while Advantura is only a 5yo and is very much the unexposed runner in the field. Hobbs is also 4-19 this term at Chepstow with a 21% strike-rate.