Poppy Kay finds a listed opportunity

January 6th, 2018 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

All being well, Chepstow stages the postponed Coral Welsh National on Saturday. It goes without saying the ground will be very testing and in recent years I’ve often thought that relatively few horses get home over nearly three and three-quarter miles. Indeed, there have been times when only two or three could possibly win rounding the home turn.

Stamina and going will not be a problem for likely favourite MYSTEREE, who is more lightly raced than some of these and specialises in marathons in testing ground, as he showed when runner-up in the Midlands version last year. Formerly with Lucinda Russell, Peter Scudamore’s partner, Mysteree has done well since moving to Peter’s son Michael and the long absence will not make any difference to his chance but I admit it’s a little worrying that the horse’s rating has gone up from 127 to 133 to 138. It’s really a question of getting into a rhythm and grinding it out; I’d be looking for some 7/1 plus.

Some horses are doubly engaged overnight but that does not apply to Philip Hobbs’ POPPY KAY, who goes in the Listed race for mares early on Sandown’s card. I think she has a clear chance here, the race hardly coming across as a classy event with Angels Antics still a novice and Dusky Legend reverting to hurdles after failing in a chase last time. Poppy Kay was a good third in a warm handicap at Newbury and, although this is nominally a step-up in class, I doubt she has all that much more to do.

I have had a lot of placed horses recently and am treading carefully, though I feel this is the time to catch Hobbs, whose operation has lagged behind the other major establishments but will surely send out a steady stream of winners soon.