We head to Chepstow for an attempt to scoop Saturday's Placepot...
"Viva Steve shaped with real promise last time at Doncaster over this trip and is taken to build on the impression he created there..."
13:20 - We kick off proceedings with a maiden hurdle over two miles and those with experience over timber don't set the bar particularly high. For that reason the first pick is dual bumper winner Monkey Kingdom, whose taken a while to get back on the track but has a first time tongue tie and the potential to make a decent prospect over hurdles for local handler Rebecca Curtis. The other to get the nod is Ashford Wood, whose been admirably consistent in his pointing career and in four bumpers, making the frame on every occasion. He may be worth a market check but there's no reason to suggest he won't continue to give his running.
13:55 - It's a staying handicap chase for novices under consideration next and the first to make the shortlist is Goodtoknow, who remains capable of overcoming the 11 lb weight hike for his success at Bangor-on-Dee in December. He's taken well to life over fences and was second on the two runs prior to that success, and given he remains at the three-mile trip which brought about the required improvement last time, another bold bid is expected. The other pick is the consistent Ballylifen who has made the frame on every occasion in his last seven starts and for that reason merits selection to finish in the money once again.
14:30 - A handicap hurdle over an extended two miles follows and a sole selection will suffice in the same of Somemothersdohavem, who has shaped better than the results have suggested on the last two occasions and is worth chancing on now back to a workable mark. He was a fairly useful juvenile for John Ryan and there were enough signs of improvement in his recent performances to suggest a return to his best form is not far away.
15:05 - The two-mile handicap chase which forms the feature race of today's card contains a number of horses who have struggled to translate their ability into results. As a result it might pay for our purposes to side with more consistent performers, and the first of those could be Grey Gold. He's taken well to chasing, landing a brace of novice events last spring and he looked better than every when taking a handicap at Sandown three weeks ago. He will relish conditions and should really make the frame. The other to get the nod is Al Alfa who also scored twice over fences last year and registered an easy success at Taunton last month on his latest start. This is a stronger race but with others likely to make the running he should be able to hold his own.
15:40 - It's an ultra-competitive staying handicap hurdle up next and Tullyesker Hill took another step forward when making a winning handicap debut in today's headgear at Warwick earlier in the month, and can continue his good run of form. He does have a 10 lb rise in the weights to contend with but he looks capable of further improvement and can defy the extra burden here to run well. Viva Steve shaped with real promise last time at Doncaster over this trip and is taken to build on the impression he created there. As always with these contests though there are multiple dangers with any number arriving in form.
16:10 - Presuming our perm is still intact at this point we will pin all our hopes on the improving Ashcott Boy in this two-mile handicap chase. He's well treated on the pick of his hurdles form and is much better than the result suggested on his chase bow at Taunton, failing to stay over far too long a trip. A return to the minimum today should bring about significant improvement and if that's the case it would be no surprise to see him register a maiden success over fences.
13:20 - 2,7
13:55 - 2,4
14:30 - 6
15:05 - 2,9
15:40 - 5,9
16:10 - 3
= 16 Lines