We’re heading to Ludlow for Thursday’s NAP, where a Nicky Henderson-trained novice hurdler is confidently taken to get off the mark at the second attempt.
Wasting no time, I can see Nicky Henderson’s Choccabloc going off odds-on and winning this 2m5½f “Introductory” Hurdle rather handsomely.
The five-year-old son of Blue Bresil is one of just two runners in this six-strong field with experience over flights, courtesy of a promising second over the minimum trip here at Ludlow exactly two weeks ago.
The form is hard to gauge, but he and his conqueror went over 11 lengths clear of the rest of the field and the selection was nice and strong at the line, suggesting this step up in trip is exactly what he wants.
Henderson said he was “thrilled” with that performance and that “he’ll have learned from it and will come on a fair bit”, so with expected improvement it’s clear he sets a pretty high standard here.
Goonhilly is the one rival that’s jumped a hurdle in public and his form is incomparable to that of Choccabloc – while I’m uninspired by The Famous Five, Everyonesacritic and Bullets Hill, at least in the context of this race.
That makes Alan King’s The Doyen Chief his main rival in my book. He was an expensive PTP recruit who won his sole bumper at Hereford earlier this year, so he’s certainly respected and market support should be noted, but I’d say it’s unlikely he’ll be able to beat the selection, who not only sets a good standard but has a fitness and experience edge too, first time out.
I must say, I’ve got a good feeling about this one – let’s hope it plays out as I envisage.
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