On a quiet Tuesday, it’s an Emma Lavelle-trained novice chaser at Huntingdon that’s my NAP of the Day.
Races with so few runners, like this 0-120 novices’ handicap chase over 2m4f, can be tricky. In fact, I often avoid them completely – but not this time, as I think Gold Link is a cracking bet.
The seven-year-old isn’t well-handicapped, nor is he badly-handicapped. I’d say he’s about right, which is exactly what you want against three questionable rivals.
It’d be unwise to completely rule out Boom Boom for Nicky Henderson, but ultimately his form is dire. He’s making his debut over fences which could bring out improvement, but he’s uninspiring even off a lowly mark of 108.
Also having their first go over the bigger obstacles is Belvedere Blast for Adrian Paul Keatley. His best piece of form over hurdles would give him a chance, but he’s a seriously inconsistent type who’s also unproven at the trip.
That leaves Enemenemynemo, the other runner with chase experience. He’s not without a chance, but his trainer’s out of form and again I don’t think his claims are even nearly as strong as Gold Link.
Emma Lavelle’s gelding has been so consistent since going chasing after a wind op earlier this year, winning one and placing in three of his last four starts. The yard is in form too, operating at a 33% strike rate with four winners from 12 runners in the last two weeks.
The 120-rated selection only has to give 3lbs to Belvedere Blast, and seven to Enemenemynemo. I’ll be disappointed if he can’t manage that – and unless Boom Boom has improved beyond recognition and/or just needed fences in front of him, I fancy my chances there too.
Ground suits. Trip too. Put it all together and we’ve got ourselves a NAP, ladies and gentlemen.