Neil Morrice brings you all of his best bets and tips for Wednesday’s racing coming your way from Chester, Kelso, Newton Abbot, and Kempton Park.
Race 2 No4 DUBAI FOUNTAIN (Nap)
Trainer: Mark Johnston – Jockey: Franny Norton
DUBAI FOUNTAIN takes the experience card into this Cheshire Oaks and is hard to knock, having placed in Group and Listed company in every start since winning her first two outings of 2020. His trainer has made a spectacular beginning to the season, and being by Teofilo out of a Dubawi mare stamina shouldn’t be an issue to the selection as she moves up the distance ladder.
Race 4 Chester Vase ( Group 3)
Trainer: Charlie Appleby – Jockey: William Buick
Blue Riband Trial winner WIRKO can book his ticket to the Derby by taking out this historic trial at the main expense of former handicapper Sir Lamorak. The Kingman colt produced his best work at the finish in an Epsom dress rehearsal last month, getting up in the final strides to nail Technique. He’s going to appreciate today’s step up to the full Classic distance.
Race 6 No5 KINGSOFTHEMIDLANDS
Trainer: Andrew Balding – Jockey: Silvestre De Sousa
Having the rail can be a massive advantage to an inexperienced two-year-old on the Roodee and that’s one reason to row in with KINGSOFTHEMIDLANDS. Although well supported on Newmarket debut last month, the selection was too green to do himself justice and finished in mid-division behind Peter The Great. He’s thought to have learned a great deal from that.
Race 1 No5 ROMEO BROWN
Trainer: Phil Kirby – Jockey: Ross Chapman
After several near misses, ROMEO BROWN might be worth another chance. He traded very short in running at Market Rasen before losing out by a short head to Oksana. It’s more than two years since his last win, but he’s fancied to end the drought.
Race 3 No2 LESSER (Nap)
Trainer: Richard Phillips – Jockey: Daniel Hiskett
The eye taker in this novices’ hurdle is LESSER, whose long journey from the Cotswolds is surely not just for the goodness of his health? The Nap made a good impression when scoring on hurdling debut at Wetherby in March and now tackles a suitable longer trip.
Race 6 No3 DOLPHIN SQUARE
Trainer: Philip Hobbs – Jockey: Mr David Maxwell
Maxwell was heroic when getting his top hunter Bob And Co home following a series of jumping errors at Punchestown. The intrepid Corinthian might not need to sit so tight on DOLPHIN SQUARE in order to land this novices’ hunters’ chase, as his mount brings good form under Rules to the table and is a good jumper.
Race 7 No1 BUCK’S BOGGLE
Trainer: Tom George – Jockey: Tom Scudamore
My best news in a fascinating bumper concerns BUCK’S BOGGLE. He was up against a classy sort when chasing home the more experienced Firestep at Chepstow, and should come on a bundle for it.
Race 1 No4 SOUTHFIELD HARVEST (Nap)
Trainer: Paul Nicholls – Jockey: Bryony Frost
It’s a surprise that SOUTHFIELD HARVEST didn’t manage to win over hurdles last season when in a select campaign he was placed in all three starts. But it’s in this discipline (chasing) that he’s always promised to find his niche. He certainly has the make and shape for the job, and is reported to have excelled in his practice over fences at Ditcheat.
Race 4 No9 KAUTO THE KING
Trainer: Colin Tizzard – Jockey: Brendan Powell
This is a cracking handicap chase in which KAUTO THE KING makes abundant appeal off bottom weight. It’s taken the gelding a while to really get his act together, but following convincing successes in handicaps at Wincanton and Chepstow he can now complete the hat-trick.
Race 5 No1 SIR IVAN
Trainer: Harry Fry – Jockey: Lorcan Murtagh
None in this field have shown the consistency of SIR IVAN, who after jumping beautifully throughout, displayed resilience at the finish to land a veterans’ chase at Newbury. He’s benefitted from having his races spaced out, and has a good chance of making this a back-to-back victory off his revised mark.
Race 6 No3 EYES RIGHT
Trainer: Alan King – Jockey: Tom Cannon
Passing Glance mare EYES RIGHT has in fairness been beaten a long way on each of her last two starts but the form is better than it looks. Away from this, her form is the best on offer in a mares’ handicap chase in which she can gain an overdue first success over jumps.
Race 2 No8 PERCY’S PRIDE
Trainer: William Knight – Jockey: Callum Shepherd
The one with the sexiest profile is Franklet, who showed promise on her Wetherby introduction and is well-drawn, but just as strong are the claims of PERCY’S PRIDE, who has more experience and proved she’d trained on when being beaten by Haykal in a tight finish at Wolverhampton. Her outside drawn is not ideal, but the runners have just under two laps of the course in which to sort themselves out.
Race 5 No4 RANSOM (Nap)
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute – Jockey: Mark Crehan
RANSOM carried a welterweight when taking out a novice at this course last month and the unbeaten gelding now steps into handicaps with a two-race unbeaten record behind him. He faces stern opposition from Tiger Crusade and Sky Commander, but can successfully handle the class rise for his in-form trainer.
Race 6 No4 SINGLE (Each Way)
Trainer: Mick Channon – Jockey: George Bass
SINGLE has had a few chances this year and is vulnerable to an unexposed rival, but given the solidity of her four earning runs from as many starts, she gets another chance to open her seasonal account.