The action is not too bad for a Monday with a couple of decent jumps fixtures at Ludlow and Kempton. I have a selection from each with two chases under the microscope. Union Jack D’Ycy was an 11-8 (advised) winner on Sunday.
Ludlow 2.20: Sir Valentino
He has spoiled his chances on a number of occasions over fences with some sloppy leaps, but Sir Valentino is given another chance to make amends at Ludlow this afternoon, the venue of his one error free round of jumping so far.
Trainer Tom George wasted no time in sending him over fences after just two runs over hurdles last season, so clearly he has seen plenty enough at home to think he can make into a useful chaser. However he fell on debut at Catterick and then when holding every chance two out at Newbury last season. In between times he was a fair second over course and distance here in January on heavy ground, having been hampered on the run-in.
He did finish the season with a confidence boosting win in a minor maiden hurdle at Southwell, handling the faster going on that occasion. He travelled well throughout at Chepstow on his return back over fences, and was just coming through to challenge when ploughing through the fourth last. There was no way back from there, but Ludlow is one of the easier jumping tracks and he looks on a fair mark if he can cut out those errors. It looks interesting that Paddy Brennan comes here rather than ride his stable’s entry at Kempton today.
Kempton 2.45: Vision des Champs
A decent horse in his native France, Vision Des Champs showed little for Gary Moore in five runs that came in quick succession during the spring, but off the back of a better effort at this track on his return there could be more to come from the 5yo today off his low weight.
Whilst he did win a hurdle and chase in France, hindsight might show that his initial rating in Britain of 128 was a trifle harsh. However his last win in France came on soft ground and his five runs down the field in Britain all came on quickish conditions, so it is entirely possible we were simply seeing a horse running out of his comfort zone in the spring.
That might also explain why he ran so much better in second behind Comeonginger over course and distance at the beginning of the month. He kept on nicely there despite pulling fiercely early on, something he was inclined to do last season as well. Hopefully that freshness will be somewhat less noticeable today after that run out and heavy rain over the weekend could have turned the ground in his favour. There is also plenty of pace in this race which could help him to settle better as well. He has already dropped 20lbs since coming over to Gary Moore so looks far better handicapped now.
Ludlow 2.20: Sir Valentino – 7/2 Boylesports, BetVictor, Paddy Power
Kempton 2.45: Vision Des Champs (each-way) – 14-1 Bet365
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