Play Obeaux at Huntingdon
Messire Des Obeaux runs on Thursday and Chris Wilson has previewed every race on every card.
Messire Des Obeaux is expected to prove his class at Huntingdon
CHELMSFORD: 5.50 Nouvelle Ere, 6.25 La Vie En Rose, 7.00 Fantasy Keeper, 7.30 Outrage, 8.00 Menelik, 8.30 Saleh.
CLONMEL: 1.40 Don't Touch It, 2.10 Paper Lantern, 2.45 Shakey Try, 3.15 Aussie Reigns, 3.45 Champagne Classic, 4.20 Leila's Island, 4.55 Planet Nine.
DONCASTER: 1.50 Twojayslad, 2.30 Snow Leopardess, 3.00 Might Bite, 3.30 CHASE END CHARLIE (NAP), 4.05 Charlemar, 4.40 Stepover.
HUNTINGDON: 1.15 Just Joelliott, 1.45 Petite Power, 2.20 Messire Des Obeaux, 2.50 Allee Bleue, 3.20 Bertenbar, 3.55 Mac Bella 4.30 Majestic Moll.
LINGFIELD: 1.35 Allegheny Bay, 2.05 Sutter County, 2.40 Welsh Inlet, 3.10 Le Tissier, 3.40 Helium, 4.15 African Beat, 4.50 Starboard.
Messire Des Obeaux should emerge the leading light on a strong Huntingdon card.
Some jolly decent horses have won the 188Bet Sidney Banks Memorial Novices' Hurdle, and this one would not look out of place on the roll of honour.
The manner in which the Alan King-trained five-year-old pulled clear of his rivals in the Grade One Challow Hurdle at Newbury on New Year's Eve certainly caught the eye.
Messire Des Obeaux is on a four-timer, but, even in spite of having to give weight away to the full field, it would be a surprise if he regressed.
Victory at Huntingdon would see his Cheltenham Festival odds capitulate for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.
Might Bite can also book his Festival ticket by lifting the Soar Enterprises Online Ltd Novices' Chase at Doncaster.
He looked booked for Grade One glory at Kempton over Christmas only to crash out at the last fence when 18 lengths clear of the second.
Nicky Henderson has given his charge a bit of time to get over that upset and this event appears to be a nice opportunity to build his confidence back up ahead of a possible big day next month.
Chase End Charlie holds fine claims of securing back-to-back victories at he tackles the Happy Birthday Elliott Sheasby Handicap Hurdle.
Trained in Herefordshire by the very capable Tom Lacey, this six-year-old is clearly in good order judged by a really convincing success at Wincanton last month.
Sent on his way at odds of 10/1 for a competitive handicap hurdle, Chase End Charlie jumped nicely for Tom Scudamore, whose companion showed a laudable attitude to deny Mondello by a short head.
Hot favourite Walt was well beaten on that occasion, while the runner-up is surely a winner-in-waiting, so the form has quite a nice feel to it.
Chase End Charlie has gone up 5lb for this latest encounter, which is far from the end of the world – especially as the step back up to three miles is thought likely to eke out a little bit more improvement.
He also has course-winning form, having landed a maiden hurdle, in which Cheltenham-bound Ami Desbois finished second, last year.
Stepover cannot be ignored in the conditional jockeys' handicap hurdle over an extended two miles.
Alex Hales' mare was well backed over this course and distance on January 27 and duly delivered as the 2/1 favourite.
The six-year-old was much too good for Calarules in what was admittedly not an epic race.
Nor, too, is this, in which a 4lb is unlikely to cause Stepover too many problems now she has got her head in front at the 11th attempt under Rules.
Outrage can cause a bit of a fuss by winning the feature race beneath the Chelmsford floodlights.
The Daniel Kubler-trained five-year-old has been in terrific form of late, having knocked off convincing victories at Kempton and Newcastle.
It was no big surprise, then, that Kubler decided to try Outrage in a better stamp of race back at the last-named venue on December 30.
He did not win, but left Gosforth Park with his reputation intact as he got to within three-quarters of a length of Amazour on his first start over six furlongs since November.
With a clutch of horses from that Newcastle race having since won, most notably runner-up Poyle Vinnie, Kubler and his inmate must surely head to Essex brimming with brio.
Outrage is 2lb higher for the Betfred-sponsored handicap, but that should not be an issue now concerns about his ability to thrive over six furlongs appear to have been allayed.
Keep an eye on African Beat in a mile-and-a-quarter handicap at Lingfield.
This three-year-old is by no means a John Gosden superstar, but she is capable at the right level – as evidenced by her tidy maiden success at Wolverhampton in November.
The Cape Cross filly also turned in an interesting display at this track on January 25 when she stayed on diligently to take third spot behind Tisbutadream.
That was her fifth start over a mile, but all the signs point towards her being in her element over farther.
African Beat now gets to test that hypothesis for a trainer who is enjoying a really good run on the all-weather.
Posted at 1550 GMT on 08/02/17.
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