* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
The feature race on ITV is the 2m 2f Cesarewitch Handicap, but I’ll start with day two of the UK jumps season’s official opening at Chepstow.
Allmankind heads the weights for this Class 2 two-mile hurdle and will run a big race. He is a smart horse who was a Grade One winner over fences last season and is a tough nut to crack. He has to give a lot of weight away to some of these and on this good ground, that may be difficult.
VALENTINO DANCER will love conditions though as they faster they go, the better for him. He is a strong traveller, who likes decent ground and that is exactly what he will get. He has a really good chance to hit the places at worst.
There’s lots of these making their seasonal bow and you have to juggle fitness levels at this early part of the season with their proven ability. Excelerator Express looks the fittest of the fancied runners, but he has risen dramatically in the ratings in the last few months which negates that advantage. Kitty’s Light was robbed at Sandown in the Bet365 Chase on the last day of last season when really badly hampered and was an unlucky loser. I’m not fully convinced about his jumping, so this might not be the perfect fit for him. Chepstow on quicker ground is not the same test it is on slow ground and that puts me off.
REAL STEEL has always shaped like a little bit of a non-finisher to me, and Paul Nicholls has opted for the wind operation. That, added to a drop in the ratings, makes me want to take a punt on him. Remember how he travelled in the Gold Cup a couple of seasons ago behind Al Boum Photo and you can see where I’m coming from. His first run of the season last year was a really good one at Ascot and I can see him winning around here on decent ground.
Tom Lacey’s runner won a handicap hurdle and this meeting last year and is a strong traveller who handles the ground. Catching TEA CLIPPER first-time out is the best place to get him, as there is bound to be a strong pace and that will play right into his hands. I can see him winning this snugly in a race that has produced lots of big-race winners, including Cue Card, in the past.
Harry Fry’s runner was off for a long time through injury, but bounced back to form with a good run behind Proschema at Aintree last May. BLACK MISCHIEF has since bolted up at Newton Abbot and with that win under his belt, will fit in very nicely here. Blackstair Rocco is a very interesting challenger from Ireland. Emmet Mullins has a very good strike rate in the UK when he sends them over, so he has to be respected.
The Cesarewitch is one of the big betting handicaps of the season and jumps trainers have a very good record in this race. It’s no surprise to see Willie Mullins’ M C Muldoon towards the head of the market after his novices hurdle win at Galway and his short head defeat to Reshoun in the Ascot Stakes earlier this summer. He is very versatile ground wise.
Nicky Henderson’s Buzz Is another who catches the eye. He looks fairly handicapped off a Flat mark of 96 and is definitely a player in this contest. You would love him to have had a prep run, so for that reason I’ll go with MC Muldoon’s stablemate MICRO MANAGE, ridden by Irish champion jockey, Colin Keane. He’s got a touch of class, won a conditions race at Galway over 1m 6f and will handle the ground. He can give Willie Mullins his fourth straight win in the Cesarewitch.
- CHECK OUT OUR BRAND NEW SNAZZY RACECARDS FOR EVERY SINGLE RACE TODAY
- … THEN GET ALL THE WINNERS BEFORE ANYONE ELSE WITH OUR FAST RESULTS
- Gallop over to Paddy Power News for all the latest racing tips
- Horse Racing tips: Live Your Dream has a lively chance in the Cesarewitch on Saturday
- Horse Racing tips: Mick Fitzgerald’s 10 to follow for the 2021/22 jumps season
- Horse Racing tips: Paul Jacobs’ 10 National Hunt horses to get in your tracker