THERE’S more racing behind closed doors at Stratford tomorrow, Saturday – the only meeting to be staged at the track in September – and Atlantic Storm, trained at Tanworth-in-Arden by Rob Summers, could make it back-to-back wins in the Keogh & Hows Handicap Chase, writes David Hucker.
Atlantic Storm’s three course wins have all come on good ground and, although no match for Ashutor at the last meeting when persistent rain had made the going testing, he could win again on what will, hopefully, be a better surface this time and has last year’s winning jockey James Best back in the saddle.
Saturday’s seven-race card starts at 2.25pm with the Raceday Staff Past And Present Novices’ Hurdle over two miles and half a furlong, won last year in impressive style by Pacify, part-owned by the Duchess of Cornwall. Winning trainer Jamie Snowden runs High Renown this time, but he has been well-beaten in both his starts this season and preference is for dual winner For Pleasure, who scored by 22 lengths in handicap company over the course in July.
This is followed by the Grundon Waste Management Novices’ Chase over the longer trip of two miles, three and a half furlongs in which Seddon, disappointing on his chase debut over the course in July before scoring at Cartmel, sets the standard.
Darling Maltaix was pulled up after being badly hampered in a Class 2 race at the course last month and this normally sound jumper can’t be ruled out if recovering from that run.
Nine have been declared for the Watch on Racing TV Conditional Jockeys’ Selling Handicap Hurdle in which Skeaping, a faller in the race 12 months ago, could have an each-way chance.
The Get Involved Join A Syndicate Handicap Chase over an extended two and three-quarter miles could see Fidux, runner-up on both his starts this season, get his head in front this time, although hat-trick seeking Young Wolf would be a danger in receipt of 6lbs in weight.
Jamacho, who followed up his two Stratford wins with another easy success at Southwell, could make it four in a row for owners Stratford Racecourse Syndicate and Robert Alpin in the feature race of the day, the Class 2 Pardy’s Dairies Fresh Milk Deliveries Handicap Hurdle.
The ten runners for the closing Andy Townsend Memorial Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race have very little form between them, although Only Money was a winner of a similar race at Fontwell Park back in March 2019.
Market support for the unraced Grey Flint would be worth noting, although his full brother Grey Felix, who was also entered for this race, didn’t exactly set the world alight at Uttoxeter on Wednesday. Another newcomer, Luttrell Lad, to be ridden by Richard Johnson, could also be one for the shortlist.