CH­ESTER’S CLAIM GIVES ERIK A REAL 8/1 CHANCE

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War­wick 1.50 - I am a huge fan of White Moon, a horse who has an abun­dance of po­ten­tial but is yet to re­alise it. He is cer­tainly a work in progress and one to fol­low but I think right now ROCKY’S TREA­SURE looks more of the real deal.

Kim Bai­ley’s tough novice has sur­prised a few with how he has taken to fences but I think that is more be­cause he was cam­paigned in shal­low wa­ters over hur­dles. Ev­ery inch a chaser, he has pro­duced some sparkling per­for­mances this sea­son and al­though he has to con­cede 5lb to his ri­vals, I think he is more than good enough to go in again.

Kemp­ton 2.05 - Kim Bai­ley could be in for a quick­fire across the card dou­ble as CHARBEL looks to have ob­vi­ous claims here. Bai­ley de­serves ex­tra credit for how he has coaxed this horse back to his classy best be­cause at one point it looked as if he was go­ing to be recog­nised only as ‘the horse that fell in Al­tior’s Arkle’. His win in the Peter­bor­ough Chase last time out im­pressed me and he won it in the style of classy horse.

War­wick 2.25 - Yet an­other com­pet­i­tive race here and an­other where I have had to split two horses who I would nor­mally back with­out hes­i­ta­tion any other day.

The two horses in ques­tion are Stoney Moun­tain and TIDAL FLOW and as the capi­tals sug­gest I have sided with Richard John­son’s home­bred. A big, raw horse who stays this trip well, put in a much more pol­ished per­for­mance last time at New­bury and showed the ben­e­fit of his open­ing run at Kemp­ton. He should come on again for that and I can see him prov­ing hard to pass up the straight.

Kemp­ton 2.40 - There has been a big drift on ERICK LE ROUGE (NAP) the past cou­ple of days, prob­a­bly be­cause he is top of the race­card but pun­ters shouldn’t let that put them off. Ch­ester Wil­liams’ 7lb claim makes life a lot eas­ier and if you look closely there isn’t a great deal be­tween the whole field. His win last time out over course and dis­tance was a per­sonal best and at the age of five I wouldn’t be sur­prised if there is even more to come.

In my eyes he did it a shade cosily that day and he will much pre­fer the con­di­tions of this race where he shouldn’t have to kick for home so early. At 8/1 he is a se­ri­ous each way bet.

War­wick 3.00 - The Clas­sic Chase at War­wick is a slog more of­ten than not, but this year, de­cent ground throws a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive onto the race. I’m sure CALETT MAD has more to of­fer in these marathons and a classy weight-bear­ing per­for­mance last time at Kelso goes some way to prov­ing that point. He con­ceded a lot of weight to the even­tual win­ner that day and only went down half a length. He looks much bet­ter treated in this race where he may just have the ad­van­tage of youth over some of his older ri­vals.

Kemp­ton 3.15 - BALLYKAN (NB) ran sec­ond in this race last year and looks to face a much eas­ier task this year. A ca­pa­ble horse on de­cent ground, Nigel Twis­ton-Davies has cam­paigned him spar­ingly most win­ters with the view of mak­ing hay in the sum­mer. How­ever, with the ground re­main­ing good most of the win­ter, ‘Big Nige’, has a few more tar­gets to aim him at, this be­ing one.

War­wick 3.35 - It’s hard to for­get how pro­gres­sive FIRST AS­SIGN­MENT looked when hos­ing up at Chel­tenham in Novem­ber. He lost noth­ing in de­feat last time out and a break since will have fresh­ened him up. His new mark looks steep but I do be­lieve he is ca­pa­ble of win­ning again.

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