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It just wasn’t to be at Tipperary, with the three selections not running up to par. Unfortunately, two big drifts on two of the selections told their story with some poor performances. Sweet Home Chicago plugged on in determined fashion to snatch third to make sure of some returns for the day – but overall, it was a slightly disappointing effort. The lucky thing is that we have more national hunt action to get our teeth into today, with an appetising evening card from Wexford. I have been lucky enough to be at Wexford on more than a few occasions in the past, and it is a splendid, if slightly undulating, track. I’ll be hoping to get back on the winning thread with a few selections from there.
There is no better place to start than the opening race on the card, a maiden hurdle over the extended 2m4f trip. Keen followers of this page will hopefully remember a great day at Wexford that we had during Royal Ascot. One of those winners included Valentina Lady for Paul Nolan, and the runner-up in that race must have a brilliant chance in this. Leac An Scail Lady comes into this race after running two excellent races in her last three starts. I quite like the form line involved with Nolan’s horse, and I think that this is a winnable contest. With C&D form in the bag, and Rachael Blackmore taking over duties in the saddle, she must go very, very close. At a general price of 7/2, I make her a good win bet selection.
The 6.45 at Wexford is probably the best race on the card, with a good standard Beginners Chase for this time of the year. I am usually not one for siding with shorter prices, but sometimes you have to realise what still might be a good price. I can’t quite understand how Embittered is not odds on in a race of this nature. It was disappointing to see this horse not get his head in front over fences last year, but his efforts in Graded races were very pleasing. He went off favourite for the Grand Annual at Cheltenham, when making a bad blunder and unseating when still in contention. He will need to brush up his jumping based on recent efforts, but at a general price of 11/8 – he should win this.
It wouldn’t be a jumps meeting at Wexford without Paul Nolan firing a few live bullets at his local track. He saddled Dympnas Well earlier in the day, who has a great chance but perhaps is too short. One who might be a shade big in the betting is Fortune Street, who is a specialist around this track. I was lucky to be in attendance when he made light work of a bumper here in 2019, and he won over hurdles earlier in the year at this track also. He may have it to prove with some of these on his first start over fences, but if you’re ever going to find a horse who will put his head down and try his hardest, it’s Fortune Street. At a generous price of 16/1 with Bet365 with 3 places available, I will be keeping the fingers crossed for his third track success.
The final selection of the day comes in the competitive Handicap Chase at 7.45. I’m spying another outsider who loves this course, with Woodbrook Boy representing Shark Hanlon and Jordan Gainford. The last time this horse saw this C&D over fences, he won comfortably by 6 lengths last summer. This is a trickier task in a much better race, but he is at the lower band of the weights as a result. Gainford takes another valuable 5 pounds off his mark of 122, meaning he has to carry less than 10 stone. This is a good race, but if he gets into a decent rhythm out in front – he could take some stopping. At a general price of 12/1 with 3 places available – I make him an Each Way bet.