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Chaddesley Corbett racecourse’s season spans the period from December to May, but it always attracts good quality horses and a large entry. Sunday’s meeting is no exception with 137 entries exceeding the totals for the other weekend fixtures.
Phil Rowley’s Bridgnorth stable and the Weston’s Hindlip yard have good records at this venue and both stables have winning chances when the Albrighton & Woodland (North) stage their fixture on Sunday afternoon.
Rowley’s yard stands a good chance of taking the 2-1/2 mile Restricted with Gadrose who won on her racecourse debut at Garthorpe last year. She may not have beaten much but started favourite on her debut and won easily so obviously has some ability – we will be able to see how much after this contest. Rowley has a second string to his bow in the shape of Pique Rock who was impressive at Barbury but has been disappointing since.
Henry Howard won a Maiden over this course last spring and is another for the short list. Delkantra chances have to be respected, as does Full Print, while Joey Kangaroo will do well to overcome a long layoff.
The meeting opens with the 2-1/2 mile Maiden and this could see the Rowley and Weston stables vying for victory. Optimised makes his debut for Rowley but has run numerous times under Rules in Ireland without troubling the judge. It would be unwise to judge this Gigginstown cast off on those efforts and it will be interesting to see if the yard can improve his performances.
The Weston’s could mount a two-pronged attack with Pougne Helio and The Late Legend who would be more experienced than most especially the latter who finished third at Larkhill and the two horses who finished in front of him that day have won since.
Doctor Wong has been entered at several meetings since the start of the season but has never met those engagements, so take note if he makes the line-up. He finished third on his solitary racecourse outing but would not be running unless the stable thought he had a good chance.
Mistercobar was disputing the lead when he came down at the second from home at the Harkaway and showed there were no long-term effects from that fall by finishing second at Cocklebarrow. He finished strongly on that occasion so will need to be kept in touch with the leaders to maximise his chances.
Blue Rhythm was fancied on his seasonal debut but got no further than the second so this race may provide compensation.
The Mens Open could go to the visitors via Gunmoney from Gerald Bailey’s Northamptonshire stable. He is prolific winner between the flags, while recent course winner Battle Dust had his bubble bust when he suffered a comprehensive defeat at Thorpe a couple of weeks ago.
Better performances are expected from Rockinrolldixie and Son of Suzie who should strip fitter after their seasonal debuts, while Temple Grandin is sure to give a good account of himself.
Clive Bennett has entered Chasforgold and Stone. The former is battle hardened in this sort of company, while Chasforgold is stepping into unknown territory.
On most of last season’s form Arthurs Secret would be a hot favourite for the Ladies Open, but he suffered an unexpected defeat on his last visit to this course. There is always a niggling doubt after a performance such as that, but he now has a chance to put the record straight and is expected to do so in the hands of Abigail Banks. Her sister Josephine may oppose with Vasco De Mee, but Foxcub could be the one for the forecast.
The latter has an alternative engagement in the Novice Riders 35 minutes later but all the entries have William Money to beat. He has already won twice this season but Kashmir Peak and Nikki Stubbs will prove difficult nuts to crack based on their performance at the Heythrop.
Sacre Toi has finished fourth on all three outings in 2017/2018. They have been in better company than this but George Daly needs to put the experience he has gained to good use in this race.
With 33 entries and a safety factor of 18, the Open Maiden may require division on the day. Skyhill Allstar has the highest rating but that does not mean much because their could always be a star waiting in the wings.
Brookthorpe Taylor ran a good race with James King in the saddle at Barbury but it may require his presence to claim one of the minor placings, while Pull the Trigger could be fancied on his last Point-to-Point performance but he has been plying his trade unsuccessfully under rules since then.
Encounter a Giant has had a couple of runs and may be able to find his niche at this lower level, while National Hunt trainer Henry Daly does not have many runners between the flags. The Ludlow handler obviously thinks that Tekap has what it takes to make it in this grade.
Nickie Sheppard has done well to coax two wins out of Ballycahane who was impressive when winning at Cocklebarrow. Blue et Or put past performances behind him when winning over this course at Christmas, while Every Breaking Wave and Inch Rock will be ready to take advantage of any mistakes by their more fancied rivals.