Here are tomorrow’s four selections.
GRUMPY CHARLEY (13.05 Chepstow, 1pt win @10/3)
This looks a tight-enough event with Real Stone being the only runner with an official rating (130) and Bumpy Johnson open to more improvement but, on the form available, GRUMPY CHARLEY looks the best bet in the opener.
While the fact that he’s comparatively exposed compared to his chief market rivals, he’s certainly appealing at the prices. For instance, his four-length second on hurdling debut behind Adrimel was strongly advertised by the winner, who recently landed a Grade-Two at Warwick to remain unbeaten over timber.
His latest fifth at Newbury in a competitive Novices’ Hurdle can be upgraded given he hung left up the home straight, but stayed on at the backend of the race to indicate he’s got a race within him of this calibre. Further Improvement appears a distinct possibility and it’s not inconceivable to see the race set for him with a strong pace likely to aid his cause, in which case, he can use his valuable experience to get competitive.
COCONUT SPLASH (13.35 Chepstow, 1pt win @EVENS)
Despite having the welter burden of top-weight to carry, COCONUT SPLASH is the class act of this field. He is very well handicapped on a mark of 135, and I don’t think that’s the ceiling of his ability, particularly if you take into account the form his “nose” second on hurdle debut to Imperial Alcazar, which has worked out well. The winner has subsequently landed the competitive Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle from a mark of 139, strengthening the form line as a result.
Even Williams’ six-year-old has made a promising start over fences this term, finding only subsequent Grade-Two winner, Messire Des Obeaux, too good when upped in trip at Wincanton last time having been given a tentative ride. That latest piece of form, though, is a fundamental reason to suggest he’s on an upward curve of form and, on the balance of his overall form which has been upheld several times, this race should be his for the taking. He’ll evidently find today’s opposition much easier.
PANIC ATTACK (15.05 Newbury, 1pt win @11/8)
This looks a good race and for that matter, the David Pipe-trained PANIC ATTACK is fancied to find the necessary improvement to go in again.
It’s significant to note that stable rider Tom Scudamore has opted to come here and ride the promising mare rather than go to Chepstow, where he’d have had the chance of bagging a few winners. Needless to say, this five-year-old mare created an excellent impression over C&D last month, suggesting that she is well up to being competitive in this higher grade.
Without a doubt, this race will prove a much sterner test to her credentials being 11Ib higher in the handicap, but she’s open to more improvement and, on the assumption she handles the ground, is very much the one to beat.
FAGAN (15.35 Newbury, 0.5pts each-way @8/1)
FAGAN has steadily improved for his current yard and ran his best race for connections last time out when keeping on well to finish third of nine at Ludlow from his current mark, faring best of those held-up. By good fortune, his mark looks lenient on historical form, given he’d been competing to a very high standard when trained by Gordon Elliott. With a strong pace guaranteed, everything looks to aligned perfectly for him, so this 11-year-old looks fantastic each-way value with an actual chance of victory as the remainder can't be backed with any confidence at the minute.