Hearted is Open to improvement

Steve Hughes has selections from both British jumps meetings on Thursday

The jumps season is really kicking into gear now and there are some decent races on offer at both Bangor and Warwick even if the prevailing quick ground limits the size of some of the fields. I have selections from both meetings with the best race on each card. Think Ahead kept up the recent winning run with a 4/1 (advised) win at Salisbury yesterday.

Warwick 2.40: Satanic Beat

Satanic Beat lost his way in 2015 after a very promising end to the previous season, but there was much more to like about his last run on the flat at Beverley. Since sold to join the jumping yard of Phil Middleton, a change of scenery might bring about some further improvement.

The ability over hurdles is certainly there as emphasises by back to back wins at this time last year. He beat Chesterfield, who went on to be top class in mid-winter at Market Rasen, before making a successful handicap debut at Kelso.

On both occasions he made all the running and he could find this track and the relatively small field ideal to suit his favoured tactics today. For whatever reason, he did not return the same horse this year, mainly racing on the flat, but he showed up far better when third, beaten just 1l by the progressive Donna Graciosa at Beverley in August and a move to Middleton might just provide a positive spark too.

Bangor 4.00: Open Hearted

The system of backing Dan Skelton horses on their first run for the yard has proved profitable and could work again when Open Hearted lines up for this interesting handicap chase .

Whilst it might be hard to improve on what Nicky Henderson managed with this 8yo, one thing in the horse’s favour is a decent record fresh, with form figures reading 1313 first time out. He actually won his first four completed starts, on good ground and soft, but his career best effort was when winning off top weight in a class 2 handicap hurdle at Kempton in 2013.

It is fair to say he has not hit the heights expected of him over fences but he did win first time out the following season at Bangor and was a solid close up third in another class 2 handicap at Kempton in January. He ran no sort of race at the same track in February, but there may have been something amiss as we did not see him again for the remainder of the season, one of many senior Henderson chasers to under perform last term. If Skelton can find some more fluency in Open Hearted’s jumping he is definitely the class act in the field.

Recommended bets:

1pt each-way – Satanic Beat – 2.40 Warwick – 9/1 Bet365, Skybet, BetVictor

1pt win – Open Hearted – 4.00 Bangor – 5/2 Totesport, Betfred, William Hill

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