The action for us starts with a Novices’ Chase on the only jumps card of the day at Huntingdon.
Value At Risk was a faller on his chasing debut at Newbury in November but don’t let that put you off. He’ll have been schooled extensively since then by Dan Skelton, whose yard have struggled for winners of late but have hit the crossbar on a number of occasions. This seven-year-old was rated 144 over hurdles and has a chasing pedigree, so could take to the game at the second time of asking.
Harry Fry’s horses know their way to the winners enclosure of late with the Dorset handler rattling in the winners. Fletchers Flyer has two runs over the larger obstacles and that experience can help him here. He was beaten at odds-on when making his debut over fences but did improve when third behind Blaklion at Cheltenham last time. With a few of these not having the experience he could put them to the sword.
Closing Ceremony was last seen in the Fixed Brush Hurdle at Haydock, which the form from looks very strong. This is his first start over fences but that run should put him in good shape for this run. He does have back class after winning a Grade 2 over hurdles in February. Drumacoo is very interesting making his chasing debut and his debut fro Ben Pauling after switching from Michael Hourigan. This is his first run for 412-days and in the first time hood, so could be interesting if supported in the market.
Fletchers Flyer (WIN)
Our second selection comes in a five-runner handicap over one-mile-five-furlongs, which is the final race on the Chelmsford card.
Coupe De Vent only beat Malih by a neck last week and carries a six-pound penalty for that success. She is also steps up to this trip for the first time but looks vulnerable. Ciaran McKee does claim five-pound on this five-year-old but her effort over one-mile-four-furlongs at Lingfield at September didn’t suggest this trip would suit.
Silvestre De Sousa is back in the UK and rode a winner for Chris Dwyer yesterday. The pair team up with likely favourite in Coorg in this contest. He wasn’t beaten by far at Lingfield over two-miles off this mark but looked a little one-paced despite keeping on under pressure. This four-year-old won at Southwell two starts ago under De Sousa, so looks the one to beat.
The vote goes to Megara for Sir Mark Prescott. This son of Medicean has only had four starts over what look to be inadequate trips. She is related to a good family of stayers that include Moscato and Hernandoshideaway, so this trip should be right up his street. He wasn’t beaten by far when fifth at Lingfield on handicap debut and is worth taking a chance on in this weak looking contest.
The final race to look at is a seven-furlong handicap on the polytrack at Kempton where 11-runners are set to line up.
Dutch Golden Age has only had four career starts and there looks more to come from this son of Kodiac making his handicap debut. He won his maiden at this course in December and steps up in trip for the first time. On the evidence of his win last time the extra furlong shouldn’t be a problem with the way he stayed on to snatch victory off Picket Line. That maiden may not have been the strongest but the second and third have won since.
Conor Dore’s Hercullian Prince has only won once in his career but that came off the same mark as today. The solitary win came over the extended mile at Wolverhampton and with the sharp nature of the Kempton turns might actually find this a stiff enough task. He is likely to be ridden prominently by Paul Mulrennan, who has had some recent success for this trainer.
Alhella has placed on her last two visits to this track. She went down narrowly to New Leyf two starts ago when having the run of the race from the front but was headed at the line. Ron Harris’ veteran Light From Mars was third that day and the 11-year-old now has a weight pull in his favour.
Dutch Golden Age (WIN)