Horse racing expert Andy Holding has two tips for today's meetings, including a NAP at Chepstow.
GRUMPY CHARLEY (NAP) (best price 7-4) still holds an entry for both the Supreme and Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle respectively at the Cheltenham Festival in three weeks and while it would be stretching the imagination to suggest he would be quite good enough to make an impact against Grade 1 company, he should find today’s opposition well within range.
Lightly-raced for a six-year-old, Chris Honour’s gelding has really come of age in the last six months and following two cracking efforts against some smart novices’ at Haydock and Newbury, he finally gained his just deserts with a win of some note over the useful Real Stone when tackling today’s C&D for the first time. Good on the numbers that day back in January, the son of Shirocco went back to the Welsh venue at month later for his latest encounter and he was even more impressive, this time showing a smart turn of foot in the closing stages to leave his toiling ten rivals for dead. Despite being a little keen throughout (has a tendency to race exuberantly) and exhibiting his party piece of drifting left on the run-in, he still managed to record a speed figure in-keeping with his previous display and more to the point, he covered the final circuit considerably quicker than his main market rival here today, Eamon An Cnoic. Now clearly, the favourite has improved since based on his victory at Sandown and does look well in today in comparison to some of his previous winning marks but whether the aging 10-year-old will have enough speed and quality to live with his younger counterpart despite being unpenalised is open to debate and for that reason, Grumpy Charlie has to rate the value bet of the pair at the morning odds.
GLORY OF PARIS (best price 6-1) has strung together a decent series of results at tonight’s track in recent times and providing stall 11 doesn’t prove too much of a hindrance, Philip Kirby’s has enough firepower to play a significant role in the finish.
Fourth over today’s C&D on his return to the Midland venue back in December, the son of Sir Prancealot has finished in the money on his next three visits and with one of those efforts resulting in a victory over a furlong shorter earlier this month, it’s clear he’s holding his form well once running himself into peak fitness. Unlucky to bump into the track specialist, Straitouttacompton who came from a long way back to pick his pocket ate on here last time, the time figure from that mile contest at least pointed towards the seven-year-old running something close to a career high and now back down in a more realistic Class 6 grade, hopefully he will be in a similar frame of mind 11 days on to take advantage.