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Grand Scheme

Richard Hannon’s colt probably has more scope for improvement than most of these having had just three career starts, but on what we have seen so far, he mightn’t need to come on much to go close here. He’s proven he stays the mile trip with a pair of second-placed finishes at Goodwood and Bath, and likes this fast surface. His strongest piece of form actually came on debut over 6f when only 6l behind the subsequent Gimcrack winner Minzaal, staying on well at the finish. Richard Hannon’s horses on the turf have returned a 19% strike-rate first time out so far in 2021, so he could be ready to strike here.


Put a line through Holbache’s seasonal reappearance when last at Nottingham. He reared as the stalls opened, losing three or four lengths and blowing any chance of bagging his customary early lead, and his chance of success. What that run will have done though, is have him ready for this event. Two from two on turf before that, including a course success in September last year, we probably haven’t seen the best of him just yet. This step up to 6f could well suit, as he has shown a tenacity to fight on strongly at the finish when challenged on both his turf runs last term. Richard Kingscote is in the saddle this time, and there are few better jockeys at dictating from the front than him. If the pair get away well, they might be hard to pass.


There are a few in this 6f sprint that boast fair claims, but there’s one that looks likely to fly under the radar as far as the pool is concerned. Adrian Wintle’s Tawaafoq ended last season with an uncharacteristically poor performance to finish 12th of 13 at Salisbury in October. That was his first outing at 7f, so it may just have been the trip that caught him out. Back over this track and trip suits with two wins and two places from for runs over today’s course and distance, the most recent of those wins coming from just 3lb below Friday’s mark. The absence of 211 days shouldn’t be a problem as he’s finished in the frame on his seasonal debut in each of the last five years.


Henry Candy’s gelding returned to the track this season with a career best when second at Bath on handicap debut. He returns here off an unchanged mark and if in the same mood will take all the stopping. His previous races on turf came on soft ground, so it’s likely that the quicker surface he encountered that day was the catalyst for the improvement. He gets those same conditions today so a repeat is likely. Most of his rivals either have question marks regarding the trip or the ground so he looks the most sensible selection in the finale on the card.

About Chepstow Racecourse

Racing has taken place in South Wales at a variety of venues for over 200 years, but the current course at Chepstow has only been in use since 1926. The arrival of the track’s feature race the Welsh Grand National in 1949 following the closure of nearby Caerlon thrust it further into prominence. The most recent running of the course’s seasonal highlight went to the home team, as Potters Corner, trained in Glamorgan by Christian Williams triumphed in testing conditions.

The race has previously launched the challenge of future Aintree challengers, with Earth Summit, Bindaree and Silver Birch all landing the Chepstow race, en route to Grand National glory.

Chepstow RacecourseMonmouthshireUnited Kingdom
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