Saturday 9th January 2021
A warm welcome to the first written preview of 2021 on the site where it’s Welsh National Day at Chepstow, or meant to be anyway. There are inspections all over on Saturday morning so this post could well end up absolutely pointless.
Should racing go ahead I’ll be looking at all the big races on the day that take are set to take place at Chepstow, Kempton and Wincanton.
The first race of the day I’m going to look at is the 1:25 at Chepstow which is the Grade 1 Juvenile Hurdle over two miles. Nassalam heads affairs for the Gary Moore yard at short odds on the back of a couple of wide-margin victories and could well be anything. I’ve taken him on though and done that with ADAGIO at 5/1 for David Pipe and Tom Scudamore, a horse that impressed me when winning at Cheltenham last time and looks a smart sort himself. He’s proven on heavy ground and if continuing his progression here could put in a bold showing again.
We move to Wincanton next and the 2:05 which is the re-routed Dipper Novice’s Chase, a Grade 2 contest over two miles and four furlongs. I think PROTEKTORAT will be very hard to beat here which is reflected in his price at a general 2/5. He was mightily impressive at Cheltenham last time and if turning up in that kind of form here it will take a big performance from either of his two rivals to lower his colours.
It’s over to Kempton now for their 2:20 which is the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs. In this affair I’ve sided with the Paul Nicholls trained MCFABULOUS at 11/10 who’s the mount of Harry Codben. He didn’t quite stay the distance the last day in the Long Distance Hurdle behind Thyme Hill and Paisley Park but still ran a very good race to finish third, despite their being some solid opposition here I think he’s the classiest horse in the race and has the most potential. If turning up in form I think we could well see an impressive display.
The 2:55 at Kempton is next up which is the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase over two miles and four furlongs. I find it hard to get away from the Kim Bailey trained IMPERIAL AURA here at 4/5 under David Bass, he’s took his form to a new level this season having claimed Listed success at Carlisle on his penultimate outing before claiming a Grade 2 at Ascot. Despite having to concede weight to a couple of them here if turning up in the same form we’ve come to expect of him as of late he’s a massive player.
Concluding the preview is the 3:10 at Chepstow which is the Welsh Grand National itself, a Grade 3 contest that’s ridden over a marathon trip of three miles and six and a half furlongs. I strongly fancy the Evan Williams trained SECRET REPRIEVE here at 7/2 who’s the mount of stable rider Adam Wedge. He bolted up in the trial race for this on heavy ground by the best part of twelve lengths and despite having to prove he can handle a considerable step in distance I think there could well be a lot more to come from him.