Sunday Racing: A Victory Guard at Chepstow3 min read
There is a terrific jumps card at Chepstow with the feature race the Grade 2 Persian War Novices’ Hurdle. Paul Nicholls has saddled the winner of this corresponding contest four times in the last decade and his Secret Investor would have been the selection had the forecast not suggested soft ground would be the order of the day.
I am going to take a chance with the maiden Coolanly (3.25) who finished runner up to the unbeaten Vinndication at Leicester on his hurdles debut before finishing down the field at both the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals. Trainer Fergal O’Brien had a couple of winners earlier in the week and the hope is that Coolanly can maintain his good recent run.
Debece (2.50) ran a terrific race over hurdles at Aintree on Grand National Day returning from a long lay-off before falling at halfway on his only subsequent start. He certainly has the scope to jump a fence and trainer Tim Vaughan has also had a couple of winners in the last week.
Carole’s Destrier (4.00) was beaten half a length by this year’s Gold Cup winner Native River when making his seasonal reappearance in the Hennessy Gold Cup of 2016 and he starts this term in a Veterans’ Chase from a 12lbs lower mark.
The selection has lost his way somewhat since that effort, but he ran a cracker in the Bet 365 Gold Cup in first-time cheek-pieces when last seen back in April. The hope is that the headgear works the oracle a second time – the handicapper has certainly given the 10-y-old a chance.
Barney Dwan must go close in the valuable 2m 4f Handicap Chase but Garde La Victoire (5.10) represents the stable of Philp Hobbs whose yard were under a cloud for much of last season but have returned in cracking form of late. The selection is 2lbs lower than when finishing second in the Haldon Gold Cup a couple of years ago when he would have won had he not jumped out to his left.
Garde La Victoire