The clock is ticking down. We are now just over a month away from the Cheltenham Festival and to say the juices are flowing because of it would be an understatement. Day-by-day the narrative of the festival is becoming clearer and it’s only going to cranked up a notch this weekend when Newbury stage an intriguing meeting that should produce plenty of Cheltenham clues.
It’s hugely unlikely that we’ll see a potential festival contender at Southwell today but one horse is attracting our attention in the Bet At totepool.com On Your Mobile Novices´ Handicap Chase.
Stagecoach Jasper may be a maiden in the National Hunt scene despite having 17 races under rules but he is far from devoid of talent and he should prove competitive dropped to a mark of 93 today.
Hailing from the in-form Sue Smith stable, who are operating at a very respectable 28% strike rate in 2014, the selection is at his best when being able to dictate things from the front and he looks the only frontrunner in the field for this low level handicap that lacks a clear standout improver.
In truth, he should really have a win to his name off a mark of 105. In a similar event to this at Hexham, where there was no pace on, he jumped fantastically well from the front and his rivals at it from a long way out. Trading at short prices for the win in-running and with the race at his mercy, he completely fluffed his lines at the second last and was sent crashing to the ground.
If rediscovering that form in a far weaker race under Callum Bewley, who takes off a further 7lbs for his claim, the weights and measures show that theoretically Stagecoach Jasper could well be anything up to 19lb ahead of his mark.
In a race that lacks an obvious answer, Stagecoach Jasper’s run at Hexham is arguably the best piece of form on offer. Favourite Trozulon has been priced up purely on the fact he’s trained by Venetia Williams and the selection has a far more persuasive profile. Get on with a two point win stake at 9/2.
Profit and Loss Record Staked: 232pts Returned: 249.86pts P/L: +17.86pts
(Cheltenham ante post book: 2pts West Wizard in Supreme Novices Hurdle 8/1 & 1pts EW Harry Topper in Gold Cup 50/1 & 2pts EW Corrin Wood in RSA Chase 16/1 & 1pt Boston Bob in World Hurdle 11/1 & 2pts Felix Yonger in Arkle Chase)
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