IT’S the rescheduled Welsh Grand National this afternoon and I fancy a wholesale shock in the Chepstow 2.05 in the form of 33/1 Buckhorn Timothy.
Colin Tizzard’s charge has been campaigned solely over hurdles this term and is two from two in that discipline, albeit the second success owed as much to luck as his latent talent.
Still, with two wins from nine starts over fences he remains unexposed and the lightly raced nine-year-old has run well before at the south Wales track.
He remains fairly treated off a mark of 137 and with more improvement in the locker he can outstay the likes of the progressive Final Nudge and the stamina laden duo Mysteree and Raz De Maree.
The first named of that trio ran a superb race at Wincanton on his seasonal debut and may well be worth covering in a saver bet in what looks a much more open race than the 2016 renewal.
Pure Vision has been crying out for a step up to three miles on deep ground and gets the chance in the 1.00.
He needed every single yard of the 21 furlongs at Ffos Las to get his head in front last time out and a 7lbs penalty seems very fair as he won a shade snuggly on the line.
The Grade One Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle at 1.35 can go to the Nick Williams’s-trained Mercenaire following his all-the-way success at Exeter on his British debut.
The other major juvenile hurdle, the Tolworth at Sandown (2.25), may go to the Gary Moore-trained Sussex Ranger.
On both his starts this season this rangy sort has simply galloped his rivals into the ground including a course and distance success and he can make the most of the weight for age 12lbs he gets from the unbeaten Kalashnikov.
Some 35 minutes later, the valuable Veterans Chase Final takes place and this could finally be the turn of Theatrical Star to come good at the Esher track following several good placed efforts, the well-handicapped Cloudy Too and classy Third Intention also look big players.
The valuable handicap hurdle which concludes the card at 3.35 has a smaller-than-expected entry and the staying prowess of the unexposed Drops Of Jupitor could well prevail in the testing conditions.
Anthony Honeyball’s yard are in great form at the moment and this son of Dylan Thomas is sure to be galloping up the severe Esher hill on this deep ground when many have given up the ghost.
There’s a cracking card at Wincanton and Cucklington, despite his welter weight, looks sure to go close to making it three wins in his last four outings in the 1.40. However, I think he will have his work cut out to give the weight away to the lightly raced Ambion Lane.
Oliver Sherwood’s charge shaped really well at Exeter last time out, only weakening between the final two fences, and should be spot on now to do himself justice off a reduced handicap mark of only 100.
With the visor on for the first time, the lightly raced Towerlands Park (Lingfield 1.45) should be up to defying a mark of 90 on only his eighth career start and fourth on an all-weather surface.
The fillies handicap at 3.30, which tail ends the card, can go to the well handicapped Pivotal Flame, fit from hurdling.
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