Architect Tips shares his Tote Placepot tips for today's action at Chepstow.
Leg 1 Selections: Jaunty Viking, Big Blue Moon
JAUNTY VIKING has made the frame four times off higher marks since and returned a good third here in January off a higher mark in a better race under similar conditions. The eight-year-old only has one win to his name but he has plenty in his favour here and has frame possibilities at the very least.
BIG BLUE MOON improved markedly from previous form to return a convincing winner at Carlisle last-time-out and while he is another who has to shoulder a penalty, he should make another bold now turned out quickly while the iron is hot.
Leg 2 Selections: Internet Biddy, Oakley Dancer
This isn’t a strong race for the grade and INTERNET BIDDY could take another step forward over hurdles having shaped better than the beaten distance has suggested in two attempts thus far. Her trainer’s runners tend to improve and she could go close in a race that won’t take a lot of winning by any means.
OAKLEY DANCER has shaped with some promise in each of her three starts and her trainer could hardly be in better form with an incredible seven winners over the last few days. She is likely to go handicapping soon but this race should reveal more.
Leg 3 Selections: Our Bill’s Aunt, Rouge De L’Quest
OUR BILL’S AUNT won after seven months off on her handicap debut at this course in November and has posted two decent efforts in defeat since. Her mark remains unaltered plus Harriet Tucker takes off a handy seven pounds, so this mare could be ready to strike.
ROUGE DE L’QUEST made too many mistakes on his handicap debut last time when only fourth but is clearly better than that and still merits strong consideration, as this race won’t take a lot of winning to be honest.
Leg 4 Selections: Achille, Ballycross
ACHILLE is now a teenager but Venetia Williams veteran is still capable of smart form on his day and the last time he ran at this course was when a gallant fourth in the 2021 Welsh Grand National off a mark of 141. He is 26 pounds lower nowadays and could go well at large odds with the best course form on offer.
BALLYCROSS is 18 pounds below his last winning mark and he will appreciate the ease in grade after contesting higher-grade events the last four times. Surprisingly, the last time he ran over trip this far was when down the field in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham six years ago. He isn’t to be taken lightly off his basement mark.
Leg 5 Selections: Rockinastorm, Immortal Flame, Merveillo
ROCKINASTORM thrashed a next-time-out winner in a bumper at Bangor and was well-backed ahead of his handicap debut last time. I know he could only finish down the field but this is easier off a two pounds lower mark and Henry Daly’s charge should improve.
IMMORTAL FLAME recorded back-to-back victories last year and while his two latest starts have been underwhelming, the softer ground didn’t suit. Back on a sounder surface from a couple of pounds lower mark than when second here in October, he’s not to be dismissed.
MERVEILLO was useful on the Flat, who was rated as high as 96, and while he’s failed to translate that form to this sphere, he will make his handicap debut from a nice mark. His stable is amongst the winners as well, so he’s included at a big price.
Leg 6 Selections: William Philo, Jean Genie, Ballybreen
Robert Walford’s strike-rate at this course might not be great in comparison to other venues with no winners from his last 43 runners here but WILLIAM PHILO could be the potential improver and emerge as the winner in leg 6.
Since going handicapping, he has a win and three placed efforts to his name and came close to winning in a higher-grade race last time. He fell on his last go over fences but his confidence has been restored with two in-the-frame performances over hurdles.
Tim Vaughan’s JEAN GENIE’s mark has dipped below 100 for the first time in his career and he isn’t without a chance, while BALLYBREEN is a specialist over this trip and could pose a threat off a tiny weight with Conor Ring claiming three pounds.