Jumping fans are treated to an evening of Hunter Chasing on Friday at Prestbury Park and once again the night is a great chance for quality point-to-point jockeys and trainers to land a win on the big stage.
Live DJ sets and a proper Bank Holiday weekend atmosphere are expected and we have a quick précis and a selection for all seven races on the card, starting with the two-miler at 4.55:
4.55 (2m+ Open Hunters’ Chase) – MONSIEUR GIBRALTAR
The 7yo has been going well between the flags of late and was a strong favourite under rules at Ascot recently, unseating four from home.
Lorcan Williams has won on the horse before and should be able to get a decent tune out of him, if so then favourite backers can get off to a pretty decent start.
The main challenge to the jolly may well come from Mantou at a good price following a nice win at Sedgefield 11 days ago and he looks good value to grab a place under Edward Glassonbury.
5.30 (3m2f Hunters’ Chase) – BALLYBANE
The eight-year-old hasn’t gone under rules for quite some time but did show ability for Rebecca Curtis and may well be good enough to land this at a good price ahead of likely favourite Dunhallow Tornado.
Claire Harris’ charge has been doing particularly well in point-to-points under today’s jockey David Prichard and with a clean round may well make the weight advantage he has over his main rival count for plenty up the hill.
6.05 (3m1f Open Hunters’ Chase) – STOLEAWAY
Philip Rowley’s Stoleaway landed the odds nicely enough at Chaddesley Corbett over 2m4f last time out but has been even more impressive over three miles and will appreciate the step up in trip for this one.
Bally River Boy was beaten fair and square over a similar trip last time out when going left-handed at Kingston Blount and may get close but perhaps not be quite good enough, while ten-year-old Foxcub is another who will appreciate conditions and can run a big one.
6.40 (Mixed Open Gold Cup Final Hunters’ Chase – 3m2f+) – BAREL OF LAUGHS
Philip Rowley will expect to be sending out the hot favourite for this race and to my mind should be expecting to land the £15,000 pot as well with Barel Of Laughs.
The 12yo son of Milan ran a blinder when third in the Foxhunter’s at the Cheltenham Festival in March and has basically been laid out for this race since then. Alex Edwards once again takes the ride.
Pentiffic may be too big an each-way price if recovering OK from running between the flags only 5 days ago at Knightwick when unseating his rider Lucy Turner who will be on board again.
7.15 (3m1f Mares’ Open Hunters’ Chase) – FRELIA
Despite the presence of Queen Olivia and Popaway in this the race can go to Frelia on the basis of her being less exposed than her rivals and thus open to slightly more improvement on the big stage.
Although a beaten favourite last time, she has shown consistent form right through the spring and may just have too much under Bradley Gibbs and can score once again in a race she has already won by 51 lengths.
7.50 (4m+ Open Hunters’ Chase) – BATTLE DUST
Philip Rowley could be on for a very big night and may score again in this marathon with his 9yo Chepstow winner Battle Dust.
The trip is somewhat extreme but one could argue that he has shown around the same level of form when running well over a variety of trips and so if anything it’ll take something like this to unlock a little bit of improvement from him.
Former Jonjo O’Neill inmate Al Co and You Too Pet may also be set for big runs at decent prices.
8.25 (2m4f+ Open Hunters’ Chase) – FULL THROTTLE
Match fit from a run and a win under rules at Ludlow last month, Full Throttle can put to the test the theory that horses run at their best on their second run after having had wind surgery.
The op seemed to make enough of a difference to him when he beat Queen Olivia (well fancied in the 7.15) nicely last time but going strictly on the figures I’d say he has already achieved better than that and so may come on for that outing.
Bear’s Affair and Salubrious are the horses expected to chase home Sam Lee’s mount in the lucky last.