14:15 Wetherby - Bet365 Handicap Chase
Eight runners go to post here in what is a really nice Listed handicap chase.
Fago for Paul Nicholls is top weight and hasn't had a great deal of racing recently. He ran only three times in 2014 and it's been over 300 days since he last stepped foot on the racecourse. He has slipped down the weights to a reasonable enough mark, however it is taking a bit of a leap of faith to assume he'll be at his best here.
Theatre Guide hasn't run since unseating his rider at Aintree in the Topham Chase in April. He has done a lot of racing over three miles plus but he does have the speed to be able to cope with this kind of distance. He won over two and a half miles at Kempton in November last year and that is a quick course so two miles and three furlongs should be fine.
Philip Hobbs runs Mountain King and he was well beaten last time out at Market Rasen over two and a half miles. Prior to that he was a good winner over two miles at Perth but this is quite a step up in class and although he is only six, it will take quite a bit of improvement to win this.
Wakanda was fourth last time out in a really good race at Aintree. That was further than three miles which was pushing his stamina quite a bit and I think he will be more at home over this shorter distance. He has won on ground from good to heavy so conditions won't be a problem for him at all. He is high enough in the handicap but as another six year old any improvement will put him right in the mix.
Firth Of Clyde was second in a Listed chase at Ayr last time out and has only been raised three pounds for that effort. A repeat of that performance is sure to see him involved at the business end of proceedings and I think he may have too much pace for some of these.
Pumped Up Kicks has shot up the handicap on the back of two wins earlier this year, one of which was a mare's Listed race that she won very easily. She was fourth in a good Listed race tag Market Rasen in July so her fitness should be fine. As long as the ground doesn't deteriorate too much it will be fine and I think with further progression likely, she has a great chance of winning here today.
14:15 Wetherby Pumped Up Kicks - 1 point @ 9/2 (Boylesports, Betvictor, William Hill)