Time to take the plunge and hope that jump racing can get back on track.
All looks ok at Taunton where the West Country track benefits by inheriting the postponed Peterborough Chase. We were very sweet on Top Notch’s chances at evens on Sunday, and although he’ll win, we won’t be suggesting him at the now prohibitive 1/2.
We’ll take the chance that Newcastle passes its early morning inspection, it may be a little touch and go with the frost, but in the event of the forecast thaw, we will plunge straight into the opener (1210).
Wig Wam Wiggle deserves to be favourite on name alone. On form it’s an uneasy spot, he did win his handicap debut, but he’s 7lbs higher here in what could be a better race. He should struggle to beat Along Came Theo on that run and yet Theo’s twice the price.
We think it’s worth opposing that form with the more experienced Catchthemoonlight. This 9yo won twice last season, latterly off a mark of 95.
Some weak Summer jumping saw her rating slip back to today’s 97, and she proved she was back to form with an excellent third at Carlisle recently.
She has won on soft ground at Hexham (proper soft) and at the stiff Carlisle track, so conditions here should suit.
Jockey Blair Campbell know the mare well, and she looks a gamble in the making against suspect market leaders.
Recommendation: Catchthemoonlight, (1210 Newcastle), 1pt win, 8/1 generally available.
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