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Hunter Chase - 4.55 Kelso


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It was a shame that we had a couple of non-runners leading to a R4 which should have been 20-30p depending on what prices the individual bookmaker had at the time on the two that came out. I say its a shame because I don't think either horse would have won and we had one of them covered anyway. Still it was a cracking result as Asockastar proved the market was totally wrong. I still can't believe Mr Mix actually went off favourite given the form was out there for all to see that he was going to struggle to beat him. I have been right about that Warwick race being a poor one to follow form wise and just because the race was won by Hazel Hill doesn't make it a strong race. He was given a bit of an odd ride really but was beaten when the jockey dropped his whip. I thought Matt Chapman on Sky Sports Racing was really rude about Asockastar before the race given he said it would be a shame if he won because it means the other two weren't as good as they were. Why on earth is that a shame? If he could have been bothered to have done any research then he would have noticed that Asockastar had the form to beat him this season and that he is a good horse in his own right. I didn't hear what he said after the race, but it wouldn't surprise me if he was pretty rude again. I suspect the winner will go to Stratford and he deserves his place in the line-up for me.

To get another short price fav beaten in the same day was probably too much to hope for and In Arrears ran out a comfortable winner at Exeter. She didn't really handle the ground, but was able to see off the other two with ease. I'm guessing she will head to Stratford where if they over water the ground again she would have a good chance in the Restricted race.

The Kelso Hunter Chase really does look like the perfect chance for Greensalt to finally get a Hunter Chase win. He finished 3rd in last year's Aintree Foxhunters' and then was badly interfered with when unseating in the Heart Of All England. This season he finished a good 2nd to Path To Freedom and then ran really well at Aintree again before fading to finish 7th. His form is way above what the others have achieved and he really ought to be winning this.

The race Llancillo Lord won at Fakenham on Easter Monday was really weak and as I wrote at the time the Maisemore win wasn't especially strong either. If he could have finished 7th or better at Aintree I would be amazed so I am happy to take him on. Hardrock Davis is the only other one to consider and yes he was unlucky here last time, but that was a weak contest and Beyond Gold hardly did anything for the form on Saturday. He did win his maiden over 2m4f, but I am not sure this trip is the ideal for him as he does seem to stay well. I fancy him more than Llancillo Lord, but Greensalt ought to be good enough to beat the pair of them.

Greensalt 2ps @ 5/4 with William Hill and BetVictor 

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Turning for home I must admit I thought it was going to be a losing tip, but after being outpaced Greensalt began to stay on and jumping the last I thought he would win. In the end he has won comfortably despite the fact he made hard work of it. Maybe Aintree had left a bit of a mark and he wasn't quite at his best, but he got his deserved hunter chase win although he will need to find another weak contest to gain another. Tommie O'Brien fully deserves his ban as Llancilo Lord should have finished 2nd and I guess Tommie didn't realise Hardrock Davis was as close as he was as he sat up once he knew Greensalt was going to win. I think the 2nd was caught out by the drop in trip and back up in trip he will probably pick up a maiden or novice Hunter Chase at some stage.

With next weeks Towcester meeting not being held anywhere it means the next Hunter Chase is on Tuesday at Southwell ahead of Newton Abbot and Perth on Wednesday and then we get the 2nd Hunter Chase meeting of the season at Fontwell on Thursday. My plan is to write my Cheltenham review today.

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