Five go to post for this 19-furlong Sunday Grade 2. Hurricane Desmond seems to have let the Huntingdon area off lightly, so the going remains good to soft, soft in places.
Despite being the grand old age of 12, last year’s winner Wishful Thinking arrives in really good form, having finished just half a length behind Sound Investment – who then ran a blinder under top-weight in the Paddy Power Gold Cup – in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree.
At a glance, the race looks between Ptit Zig and Al Ferof – who has recently switched to Dan Skelton from the former’s yard of Paul Nicholls.
Ptit Zig has a very good chasing record and went very close to beating Vautour at Ascot on his last start. He’s not quite up to Grade 1 class – yet, anyway – but is prolific at this level and is a worthy favourite with match fitness assured. Age is on his side and he’s still improving, but I’m concerned this race might come slightly too soon after putting his all into Ascot just two weeks ago.
Aged ten, Al Ferof has been around the block and won’t be getting any better. He does go very well fresh, though, having won the Paddy Power Gold Cup and Amlin 1965 Chase at Ascot on seasonal debut in recent years. Despite the long break, Skelton has him primed for this so we can expect a proper performance. He might be a shade generously priced at 11/4.
The unknown quantity in the race is Camping Ground, a French import for Robert Walford. He receives plenty of weight from the market principles and brings some handy form from across the channel. Aged just five and totally unexposed, he’s worth chancing at 9/1 given this is a confident choice of race from connections.
1pt win Camping Ground @9/1, Huntington 14:00
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