Another sure sign the jumping season is upon us is the first meeting of the autumn at Wetherby, always a competitive fixture with the top stables from the north well represented. This year’s card is no exception with two useful chases in particular of interest. We got back on the winning trail with Grendisar (advised 7/2) yesterday at Kempton.
Wetherby 2.50: Lucky Landing
Whilst some of Lucky Landing’s classier rivals here have absences to overcome, Lucky Landing is fit from a summer jumping campaign and could put that race sharpness to good use in a race which could turn into a real stamina test for a 2m race.
Four of the ten runners are confirmed pacesetters, so whilst they may not all take each other on, a fast gallop looks inevitable. With rain expected to slow the ground down somewhat, this race could come down to a strong finisher, and the hold up style of Lucky Landing could be ideally suited for this, despite a drop back in trip.
A winner over 2m3f at Market Rasen in March, he was actually raced over distances in excess of 2m4f during midsummer, without much success. Dropping him back to 2m3f worked the oracle when he won again back at Market Rasen and he then followed up just a week later over just 2m1f at Bangor. On both those last two wins he was ridden by Noel Fehily, who takes over again today. Admittedly he does have a poor outing last time out to recover from, but it could be that a combination of a slightly longer trip plus softer ground caught him out. 2m with some cut in the ground should be fine for him, so provided he does not get too outpaced down the back, I can see him running on strongest of all at the finish.
Wetherby 3.55: No Planning
A tricky, wide-open looking handicap but with weather conditions expected to turn the ground softer, the chances of No Planning look sure to be increased.
This second season chaser should be reaching his peak this season, still only being 6yo, but displayed a strong level of form last term. He won two novice chases over 2m on soft ground, but ran well in handicap company at distances right up to 3m, notably when third here over this course and distance on very heavy ground to McMurrough at one of the feature races at their Christmas meeting.
Whilst he handles very slow ground, he is adaptable and has actually won on good-to-firm previously. It is just that he seems equally at home on any surface or distance, whilst plenty of his opponents might find the ground softer than preferred by race time. It therefore seems worth taking a chance on him first time out as he has the potential to improve on an already solid level of form.
1pt each-way Lucky Landing – 2.50 Wetherby at 7/1 (general)
1pt win No Planning – 3.55 Wetherby at 9/1 (Coral)