Steve Hughes has some picks on a fine day of summer jumping
The emphasis is definitely on jumping today with both Cartmel and Uttoxeter staging some quality races, the Summer Cup at Uttoxeter being one of the highlights of the warm weather season. We had a reasonable Saturday with a win for Invincible Army (advised 6/4) and placed efforts for Cosmic Law (advised 11/2) and Proschema (11/1)
Cartmel 2.35: Project Bluebook
Project Bluebook brings a touch of class to proceedings at Cartmel and he can land the feature hurdle on the card having bounced back to form at Haydock last month.
He is without a win since landing a Grade 2 at Fairyhouse as a juvenile two seasons ago, but in fairness he has been quite lightly raced since. Any doubts he had lost his ability though were dispelled when he ran on strongly into second in the Swinton at Haydock.
This race is certain to be run at a fast and furious gallop, so as this horse likes to come from off the pace, this should be run perfectly for him. They tend to go for home quite early here given the long bend into the straight and that should allow the front-runners to come back to him. First time cheekpieces should serve to sharpen him up too, whilst good ground is just what he needs.
Uttoxeter 4.05: Monbeg Legend
Always one of the big chases of the summer, this year’s renewal perhaps lacks some of the quality of recent seasons. There are also a lot of inexperienced chasers who could come unstuck in this big field, so I am going for Monbeg Legend, who got in plenty of chases last summer.
This prominent racer has yet to run beyond 3m, but shapes as if he will relish the step up in distance. He was far from disgraced when third in a Grade 2 novice at Ayr in April, simply getting outpaced late on over 2m4f. However his most impressive win came when making all at Stratford last summer over a near 2m7f. He also beat the useful Barney Dwan in a 3m point.
He must have good going, so conditions will be fine for him. Nicky Henderson’s stable jockey Nico de Boinville has overlooked the selection in favour of Brave Eagle, but that horse can run in snatches and I fear he might get too far back in the field to figure. Provided he gets into an early rhythm, I can see Monbeg Legend being in contention throughout and should he last the extra distance he could prove hard to pass.
1pt win – Project Bluebook – 2.35 Cartmel – 3/1 Paddy Power
0.75pts each-way – Monbeg Legend – 4.05 Uttoxeter – 16/1 Bet365, Ladbrokes, BetVictor