Horses running in Scotland (Perth), Wales (Chepstow) and England (Plumpton) feature in today's UK SmartPlays...
"Seventh Sign made a winning hurdling debut at Newbury in January and improved again when second in a 2½ mile Wincanton novice in this headgear last time..."
It's not uncommon that horses who make the (often long) trip north to Perth during April festival week are asked to compete more than once to earn their keep and Chartreux (16:00) today bids to go one better than when finding the runner-up spot here on Wednesday. A two-time winner over fences this term, including in handicap company at Wincanton in January, his effort in first-time cheekpieces 48 hours ago was just about a career best and while this 2½ mile trip looks an absolute minimum for him, there are sufficient question marks about his four rivals to suggest he'll be going home this evening with a victory under his belt.
The 2012-13 National Hunt season officially ends tomorrow and one trainer who is finishing the campaign with a flourish is Alan King, following success at the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals with Godsmejudge's Scottish National victory last weekend, and he can land Chepstow's opener thanks to Seventh Sign (16:50). A son of Pivotal who landed a quickfire hat-trick on the Flat for Tommy Carmody in Ireland last summer, he made a winning hurdling debut at Newbury in January and improved again when second in a 2½ mile Wincanton novice in this headgear last time. Everything appears in place for another good performance today.
A multiple-winner on the Flat in France, Gaelic Silver (19:55) has yet to produce a performance of note in five outings over hurdles/fences since arriving in this country 18 months ago, but he's given another chance this evening at Plumpton on the back of a series of fairly-useful efforts on the Flat this year, finding the frame on all four outings since February, including when runner-up in a 1¼ mile Windsor event recently. The handicapper has certainly given him a chance here and a reproduction of that form will make him a serious contender in this event.