Racing Plus Chase tips – Wyck Hill’s rivals face uphill climb
Leading Irish owner JP McManus will be hoping for an immediate return on his investment when Wyck Hill runs in Saturday’s Racing Plus Chase at Kempton (due off 3.50pm).
The nine-year-old was snapped up McManus earlier this week for an undisclosed sum and this £100,000 handicap gives him the chance of a quick return, with the market speaking strongly in his favour. Having been 5/1 when betting first opened, he’s now no bigger than 3/1 with Blue Square Bet, and as short as 9/4 in a place.
That sort of price looks justified given the horse’s rock-solid credentials. David Bridgwater’s charge has looked one of the most progressive chasers in training, with four wins from five completed starts, and the form of his defeat of Katenko at Ascot in December now looks exceptional. That horse is now 23lb higher after winning his next two starts as is being touted as a lively outsider for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, while Wyck Hill has only gone up 7lb.
A literal reading of that form suggests that he has plenty in and over his rivals and he has a lovely racing weight of 10st 7lb, so his new owner has every right to be confident of recouping a significant chunk of the purchase price. Looking a bit further ahead, the horse is also amongst the leading contenders for the Grand National, for which he’s been allotted 10st 4lb, and his current price of 20/1 could look huge if he wins on Saturday as expected.
Not that Saturday’s contest will be a pushover – far from it! He faces a serious challenge from the Paul Nicholls-trained Rolling Aces, and he’s worth a saver at least. The seven-year-old is in a similar vein to Wyck Hill in that he’s a progressive chaser on a steep upward curve. He was second to Reynoldstown winner Rocky Creek in a point-to-point two years ago and has clicked over regulation fences this season, winning his last two starts.
The form of his 2m7f Newbury handicap win two starts back has been boosted since by the placed horses and this defeat of the re-opposing Opening Batsman at Wincanton last time now looks even better with that horse winning when returned to that track on his next start. That horse enjoys a 7lb pull for eleven lengths and should finish closer this time, but the Nicholls horse is improving fast enough to confirm the form. Whether he can give 7ln to the Wyck Hill is another matter, though.
Of the rest, you have to give maximum respect to Nacarat, who won this race in 2009 and again last season. He has been trained with a record third victory in mind and will run his customary race from the front, with the drying ground very much in his favour. The consistent Same Difference is another with claims and he could make the frame with just 10st 2lb on his back.
Wyck Hill Racing Plus Chase 5pts @ 4/1 Stan James
Rolling Aces Racing Plus Chase 1pt @ 9/2 Stan James
Wyck Hill Grand National 1pt each-way @ 20/1 BetVictor (Non-Runner Free Bet)