Beakstown Fancied to Land Hot Wetherby Novice

At this time of year, it is often the novice races that catch the eye and that is certainly the case at Wetherby on Wednesday. Although not their feature race in terms of class and prize money, their Novice Chase will be the race that catches the eye. We have some very talented hurdlers on show who are taking their first steps into the chasing division, with Beakstown and Sam Spinner the two horses who look set to dominate this.

When comparing the two horses, I really think these two approach chasing from very different angles. Beakstown is a big horse, one who looks built to be a chaser and this is a logical step this season for the six year old. He was pulled up on his last start at the Cheltenham Festival last season but prior to that he won a Grade Two over hurdles. Although he hasn’t ran over rules with bigger obstacles ahead of him, he did win a point to point before being bought and moved to the Dan Skelton yard, so has been over fences in public.

Sam Spinner had a troublesome campaign last season if we are being honest. A couple of years ago he won a Grade One over hurdles, finished third at Aintree and fifth in the Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham. He looked ready to really push in the staying hurdle division and make a name for himself but last year things didn’t go to plan.

He unseated his rider on his first two starts last season, putting the brakes on and refusing to jump over the hurdles. He made amends somewhat for that with a great second in the Stayers Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, but was once again disappointing when going to Aintree afterwards.

He has high class form to his name, and is certainly respected on that but he also has some poor runs to his name where he was well below par and he can’t afford that here. There is also the fact that he doesn’t appear to be a natural jumper, this isn’t the logical step with him like it is with Beakstown. Jumping has to be a worry here for Sam Spinner, something I am hoping will give Beakstown the edge and allow him to take lengths out of his rivals.

This has the makings of being a very good race, and even though I’ve only mentioned the top two in the betting, the others horses here are not without a chance. Horses like Mr Antolini and Return Ticket would be fancied in regular novice chase races, they have just bumped into a couple of horses here who could end up being top class.

Of those, it is Beakstown that catches my eye and he is the one I want to be on. I expect him to be better over fences that we saw over hurdles, and he wasn’t bad over those. He looks to be a tailor made chaser and one that can hopefully make a winning chasing debut on Wednesday.

To see what else I like at the meeting from West Yorkshire, be sure to head over to our horse racing tips page!