Ludlow and Chepstow previews: Hope’s Wishes the Old Magic is still there
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | March 24, 2016
Hope’s spring eternal for Wishes
Hope’s Wishes is topping and tailing the jumps season superbly, and looks to be a worthy favourite in the 1m 7f mares’ handicap hurdle at Ludlow today (15:40).
This six-year-old daughter of Kayf Tara, who was recently crowned top sire of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival, has won four of her last seven races all on different going.
All of those victories secured by Hope’s Wishes have been over the trip or slightly longer. Last time out at Plumpton just 10 days ago, she romped home by 10 lengths.
Barry Brennan’s versatile mare is well-in despite carrying top weight here, and Hope’s Wishes won at Wincanton back in November on atrocious ground with the same 11st 12lb on her back.
Ashcott the Boy to back in novices’ handicap
Elsewhere on the Ludlow card, in-form trainer Neil Mulholland should see chestnut gelding Ashcott Boy live up to his mark by taking the novices’ limited handicap chase over nearly 2m (15:05).
Heavy going did not suit the eight-year-old last time out at Southwell but, prior to that, Ashcott Boy won his previous three outings.
An impressive 18-length victory at Worcester in the autumn marked this horse down as one to watch.
Three wins in five starts over the bigger obstacles is a superb strike rate, and Ashcott Boy once again gets the service of David Noonan in the saddle, who has piloted him to those results.
14:30 Ascotdeux Nellerie
15:05 Ashcott Boy
15:40 Hope’s Wishes (Nap)
16:15 Presenting Arms
17:20 Mo Chailin
17:50 New Member
Old Magic can rub off again at Chepstow
In division one of the 2m handicap hurdle at Welsh racecourse Chepstow (16:25), meanwhile, Old Magic can build on his brilliant Bangor showing to scoop back-to-back successes.
Sophie Leech’s 11-year-old bay chased the leaders well when last seen across the border, and took up the running two out to score by nine lengths.
Old Magic avoids Shaddaii, who holds decent claims of winning division two of this race (17:00), as there were so many entrants the organisers have had to split the runners.
With just 10st 7lb on her back, and amateur lady rider CV Hart to pilot him again, Old Magic is primed for a second success at a course in Wales in just over a week.
Shaddaii, meanwhile, has more than a stone less on board than fellow division two market leader Ayla’s Emperor.
This French grey gelding overcame an absence of almost two years to score over 2m 3f at Huntingdon last time out, and has previously shown a preference for today’s going.
Robert Walford’s 10-year-old is 2lb lighter than when successful in February. With Ayla’s Emperor giving him a whopping 15lb, Shaddaii is the one to side with.
14:05 Ivor’s Queen
14:40 Closer To Home
15:15 Tara Tavey (e/w)
15:50 Long John
16:25 Old Magic
17:30 Royale Django
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