Friday, October 08, 2021

Chepstow chat - and an each-way chance

Chepstow's two day meeting is generally seen as the start of the 'core' jumps season and, for me, is usually the time form study begins again in earnest. 

That said, I followed the summer racing circuit more closely this year; I wouldn't be confident the bank account is going to see any particular benefit.

Earlier this afternoon the more experienced Camprond came home ahead of well-backed stablemate Luttrell Lad in the Persian War Novices' Hurdle. 

First Street (Nicky Henderson) and Paso Doble (Paul Nicholls) were easy enough to back beforehand and the market was proven correct with both runners disappointing, beaten 21 and 36 lengths respectively.

Knappers Hill obliged for the champion trainer in the opener but there were disappointments with Threeunderthrufive (10//11f), Hell Red (5/2f) and Mondora (15/2).

A ten-year-old had won four of the last five renewals of the Veterans' Handicap Chase (2.10) and two ten-year-olds, Some Chaos and Vivas, finished first and second this year. 

I was at Warwick when Vivas unseated his pilot a couple of weeks ago; known to go well fresh, he was quite well fancied that day in a race in which he had finished second behind Young Wolf the year before.

The form of that race has piqued interest in tomorrow's Native River Handicap Chase (2.25); 14 have been declared.

Although beaten twice by Francky Du Berlais, Exelerator Express has been impressive this summer; the handicapper has raised Neil Mulholland's charge nine pounds following his latest win at Worcester just over seven weeks ago. He may well have a crucial fitness edge over a number of tomorrow's rivals. 

Writing in the Weekender Maddy Playle has a word for Full Back but this looks a big ask for Garry Moore's novice - no six-year-old has won this in the past ten years.  

Of course, you could argue that stat would be a worry where Kitty's Light is concerned but the five-year-old was a revelation last year. 

The gelding finished third behind El Presente in the Badger Beers at Wincanton in the autumn before winning the Borders Handicap Chase at Kelso and then being 'promoted' to second behind Potterman in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown after being hampered by Enrilo on his run to the line. Several commentators felt that without the interference he would have won that race.

At a price, two from the Warwick race won by Haul Away are of interest.

Irish Prophecy was beaten under six lengths at Warwick and previously was still in with a shout in Exelerator Express' race at Worcester when making a bad mistake five from home, with jock Tom Bellamy losing an iron.

After Warwick the handicapper dropped Emma Lavelle's charge two pounds.

On 17 May 2019 Cobra De Mai won the Weatherite Handicap Chase at Cheltenham off a mark of 142.

In the 2020 renewal of the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival the gelding finished less than nine lengths behind winner The Conditional off the same mark.

Last season Cobra lost his form; in February he was moved out of Dan Skelton's yard to join Caroline Bailey.

On his first run for new connections, he raced with enthusiasm for the first time since the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, weakening to cede third place to Irish Prophecy on the run-in, eventually beaten under nine lengths.

The handicapper has dropped him a further four pounds for that effort; tomorrow he races off 128 and will appreciate the good ground.

At the time of writing Irish Prophecy is generally at 16/1 chance while Cobra De Mai is 18/1 with Paddy Power who pay four places one fifth the odds.

I tipped up Cobra De Mai for last season's Badger Beers (under the heading: 'What's this? A Cobra in the Badger Beers'). Off 138 that day he ran like a drain - and he may well do the same tomorrow - but I'm hoping he's going to build on the promise shown at Warwick 18 days ago and at least give me a run for my money...

Cobra De Mai is the each-way suggestion. 


Anonymous said...

Native River Handicap Chase

174,FULL BACK(FR),10.9
174,REAL STEEL(FR),9.9
168,CAP DU NORD(FR),5.8
164,COBRA DE MAI(FR),3.6

Exelerator Express is the system’s idea of the most likely winner though it does express slight concern that he may find the ground faster than ideal. Fidux was beaten over 15L by EE LTO and the handicapper has granted him 11lbs to try and rectify matters. All things being equal Fidux is unlikely to reverse placings but might perhaps grab one of those 4 places at 16/1 1/5 odds.

The age stat you note might be suspect as there has only been 6 renewals of the race and only 5 runners aged less than 7 have taken part in those 6 races.

I can see how Cobra De Mai could be spectacularly handicapped but my reading is that he is a horse on the wane....hope I’m wrong.

Good luck!


GeeDee said...

Good to hear from you, TW; trust you're keeping well.

Many thanks for providing your ratings; apologies for the late publication - suffering with technical issues... :(

GeeDee said...

16/1 chance Chirico Vallis set out in front on this front runner's track and was one length to the good coming to the last. Neil Mulholland's charge was joined by Kitty's Light (17/2) on the run to the line and, after a sustained battle, bravely prevailed by a head.

Selection Cobra De Mai (14/1) raced prominently but was left behind by the two principals from four out; he stayed on to claim third, some nine and a half lengths behind the winner with Brave Eagle (12/1) fourth and Irish Prophecy (20/1) fifth.

There was plenty of money for Exelerator Express who was sent off 16/5 favourite. He was hampered at the ninth and then made a mistake at the twelfth which didn't help the cause. Neil Mulholland's charge made some late headway to eventually finish eighth.

Anonymous said...

Well done, Cobra De Mai's star still burns bright!


GeeDee said...


A better display than in last year's Badger Beers...

Fully accept point you make about the age stat quoted in the main post - manifest ring rust on my part.

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Tasmin said...

Cool recap