Alcala can help celebrate Cobden’s new job

Steve Hughes has selections from two races on Wednesday.

Chester’s big meeting of the year kicks off today, but with the Chester Cup moved from its traditional spot on day one to Friday, the card has a fairly mediocre look to it, especially from a punting perspective. As such I am waiting for the last race for my one selection from the Roodee, instead having a go at the big race at Newton Abbot.

Newton Abbot 3.55: Alcala

Jockey Harry Cobden was announced as the new number one to Paul Nicholls last week and can land a first big winner in his new role on Alcala in this excellent handicap chase.

The 8yo enjoyed a lucrative summer campaign last year, winning six times – four of them at this track. However his biggest success was undoubtedly the Summer Plate at Market Rasen, just about the highlight of the summer season over jumps.

He definitely prefers a sharp track such as this and his comeback run at Sandown was far from a disgrace, beaten 19l in a Grade 2 by Top Notch. That will have served to sharpen him up for today, a far more realistic target.

Chester 5.05: Right Touch

A wide open handicap to finish the card and this can go the veteran Right Touch.

He may be an infrequent winner these days, but is consistent and I can see the likely strong pace suiting him ideally. He is in good form after going close at both Doncaster and Ripon recently.

However a sharp track suits him – he is a winner here in the past, and recently he has good performances at this 7f trip behind him at Lingfield and Musselburgh, both of which are on the turn. A draw of six is fairly kind and he has dropped to the sort of mark from which he can surely be competitive in this grade.

Recommended bets:

1pt win – Alcala – 3.55 Newton Abbot – 110/30 Bet365, BetVictor

0.75pts each-way – Right Touch – 5.05 Chester – 11/2 general

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