Chepstow 2.35 13 LATE SHIPMENT @ 40/1 + 2 WESTERN CLIMATE @ 28/1 - 1/2 point each way each horse SKY/LAD/CORAL/BFRED to 4th
I looked at this race very much with the mindset that gave us great success at this period in 2015 / 2016 and 2017. That is to totally ignore the market, look at soft/heavy ground form (its not yet deep Chepstow Going but this should be a slog); and to focus on proven stamina; proven form in the Going, an ability to be competitive first time out or fresh, and to have the courage of your convictions and to ignore any who say "that can't possibly win" - because year after year, certain types of horses make hay in this period simply because they can handle the conditions.
I narrowed my search down to 3 and left out ROYAL CLARET he has won off a break, ran well in soft and anything that has won at Ffos Llas over a trip is a proven stayer. Not quite for me today as a trip but I will add to my crazy Tricast Perm of soft ground stamina form.
LATE SHIPMENT won or placed on soft/heavy the season before last off marks of 97-110-121, you could argue either that his form regressed last year or as I do, that he was simply in the grasp of the handicapper and had to go through the motions. This is another good angle in NH as they race far less frequently than Flat horses, so it can take 12-18 months simply to get back to a winnable mark. In those circumstances forget the recent form and look back a bit further and off a mark of 111 here, if 95% of that ability remains and in these conditions, looks very overpriced to me. Similarly WESTERN CLIMATE won in this Class at Exeter over 3 miles off a mark of 125, so proven stamina up that hill twice. This galloping undulating track is a real test and another back to a winning mark who could stay on.
Try to back with one of 4 named bookies going odds to 4th for optimum value.
The field is full of horses who have to conclusively prove stamina, if the Going was Good or Good to Soft I'd see a totally different result. The rain may not get in to the ground quite quickly enough but on a day when there is a lot of racing but not a lot to really focus on, we will have a sporting punt on this pair and fingers crossed we get a deluge for a few days and back to proper winter NH ground in time for a few cracking weeks ahead.