Steve Hughes has another jumps/flat split on Thursday
Catterick stages the North Yorkshire National today, their biggest jumps race of the year. I have two against the field for the feature. I also have an each-way bet on Chelmsford’s evening card. Headline selection Deeleys Double was a 6/1 (advised) winner last night at Kempton.
Catterick 2.35: I Just Know & Itstimeforapint
Sue Smith took this race last year with Straidnahanna, a horse that made most of the running to win. I think I Just Know could do the same, but am having a saver on Itstimeforapint in case the pace collapses and a dour stayer comes through to win.
I Just Know has been off the track since a couple of runs in the autumn. A fair third at Carlisle at a time when the yard’s horses needed their first run, he was then outclassed and outpaced over too short a trip in a listed contest at the same track. He does not want the ground too soft, which I assume is why he has not been out for a while, so a dryish week won’t have done him any harm. A fluent leaper and regular pacesetter, he was a 6l winner over 3m1f here last season from just a 6lb lower mark. He does have another 5f to last today, but he shapes like an out and out galloper.
One horse who definitely stays forever is Itstimeforapint. He won arguably the biggest stamina test of them all over 4m on heavy at Hexham in 2016. He ran some crackers at this time last year, including a third in this very race staying on strongly on good ground and was third in the 4m Borders National at Kelso. The softer going today could be of assistance and he comes into this a fresh horse off the back of just one run to date. He goes for this in preference to the Classic Chase at Warwick at the weekend.
Chelmsford 7.00: Graceful James
A massive eyecatcher at Kempton last time, Graceful James returns to his favourite track of Chelmsford this evening where his form figures read 33114.
Those wins have both been gained at this 10f trip including a decisive 3l win in August from just a 3lb lower rating. He has also dropped 4lbs since a fair fourth beaten only 2l here in September.
That is because he has been well beaten in two runs at Kempton since, but he was never really put into the race on either occasion and I thought he ran pretty well considering last time, flying past beaten horses into seventh. Given his record here, and perhaps a more positive ride, I would expect to see him much more competitive, especially as there should be a decent pace which will suit.
1pt win – I Just Know – 2.35 Catterick – 3/1 general
1pt win – Itstimeforapint – 2.35 Catterick – 10/1 general
0.75pts each-way – Graceful James – 7.00 Chelmsford – 7/1 Ladbrokes