The National Hunt season proper gets underway at Chepstow today and on what looks an exciting card, I am taking a chance on the Nicky Henderson-trained Progressive in the 4yo handicap hurdle (3.20pm).
The daughter of Nathaniel finished off last season on a very quiet note, but she had made a highly encouraging start to her hurdling career when scoring at Doncaster last December, when she did well to reel in the enterprisingly-ridden leader. Though beaten 10L into fourth on her next start, when favourite in Listed company, she travelled as well as anything that day on the soft ground and was the last off the bridle.
Her second to Caldwell (re-opposes here) off 117 at Musselburgh in March shows she can be competitive off this mark, but it is the way she travelled through the race at Doncaster that makes her look potentially very well-handicapped if the recent wind op has done the trick.
A spin on the flat at Yarmouth three weeks ago should have put her spot on for this and the Henderson team couldn’t be in better form, with four of their last five runners going in.
3.20pm Chepstow – 1pt win, 0.5pt place Progressive @ 14-1 (various)