Chepstow Preview: Treble chance for red-hot Hobbs
Trainer Philip Hobbs is in terrific form at present and looks to a big chance of bagging a treble on today’s card at Chepstow courtesy of Ink Master, Lord Protector and Milo Sam.
The Minehead handler has been banging in winners left, right and centre and boasts a terrific strike rate of 25% with his runners at the venue in the past 12 months.
Ink Master makes his debut over hurdles in the 2m contest that opens proceedings (1.10) after an eye-catching run in what is traditionally a decent bumper at Cheltenham on his first start for Hobbs.
The gelding, who was bought for £80,000 following two placed efforts between the flags in Ireland, stayed on nicely to finish fifth of 12 to the highly regarded Moon River after being given plenty to do.
Although beaten just under 19 lengths, the four-year-old was tenderly handled and showed enough to suggest he would be capable of winning races over the obstacles.
Lord Protector makes his debut over fences in 2m novices handicap chase (2.10) and looks weighted to make it a winning one.
The seven-year-old showed progressive form over hurdles last season, winning a handicap at Sandown off a mark of 110 before going on to follow-up in a better grade contest over course and distance off 119 on heavy ground .
The son of Oscar got put up to 127 for that success, but ran well of it when ninth of 20 in a very competitive class 2 contest at Kempton behind Carole’s Destrier.
Lord Protector is able to race off 2lb lower now tackling the larger obstacles, and that makes him look well-treated and the one to beat granted a clear round.
Milo Sam finished a cracking runner-up on seasonal reappearance, and with conditions to suit can go one better in the 3m handicap chase (3.50).
The seven-year-old is a tough and consistent sort who constantly defied the handicapper last year to win four times, with the last of those successes coming at Taunton where he dug deep to beat Rocky Bender by a neck off a mark of 93.
Although now 9lb higher in the weights, Milo Sam looks the type who is open to further progress judge on his recent comeback run when beaten three lengths at Newton Abbot.
That run should have blow away the cobwebs, and with the testing conditions holding no Milo Sam is going to be a tough nut to crack.
1.10: Ink Master
1.40: Super Sam
2.10: Lord Protector (NB)
2.40: Duke Of Monmouth
3.15: Un Bleu A L’aam
3.50: Milosam (NAP)
4.20: Herbert Park