‘Grean’ looks a solid stumbling block to overcome for ‘Kin!’

Nicky Henderson has confirmed “all systems go” for Shishkin to run at Kempton today in the grade two Desert Orchid Chase but I’m a layer; the former champion trainer has possibly ‘crammed a quart into a pint pot’ to get this stable star out for a seasonal debut and I suspect it could well backfire.

Two weeks ago Henderson was being pressured by the media to run Shiskin in the grade one ‘Tingle Creek’ but resisted and stated ‘all in good time’ to persistent scribes; having owned horses during a successful  twenty years or spell, which resulted in more than sixty winners world-wide, I’m fully aware you cannot switch thoroughbreds on and off willy nilly; hopefully in this case I’m partially wrong!

Shiskin has continually proved my early time-figures to be 100% right, he’s arguably the best two-miler in training and a big crowd and ‘big-hitters’ will be onto him to a man but make no mistake Paul Nicholls-trained Greanetaan and Bryony Frost represent a serious danger.

According to my time-handicap, Greaneteen, an unchallenged winner around Sandown earlier this month, is definitely worth punting each-way given there are two places on offer and the likelihood of a freak starting price on the aforementioned high-profile favourite; betting will be fascinating to say the least.

Nicholls is also keen on Magistrato in the grade one Finale Hurdle over two miles of ‘soft’ Chepstow but a quality field will be hard-pressed to cope impressive Musselburgh winner Skycutter, a real’ special judged on his all-the-way victory over Collingham, two lengths away in second; others were TWENTY-NINE lengths and upwards in arrears. Don’t oppose.

A challenging seven-race programme concludes with a thirteen-runner Novices’ Hurdle over two miles which looks at first glance to rest between Seventeen O Four and Mister Marbles; price-wise I’m keen the former because conditional jockey Fergus Gillard claims 3lbs allowance on David Pipe’s charge and should be a much bigger price for ouir each-way patent.

So many meetings to peruse but think of all the juicy data which will surely prove advantageous during the next few months.

Selections, Chepstow, 1.40 Skycutter (e.w); 3.55 Seventeen O Four (e.w); Kempton, 2.30 Greaneteen (e.w).    

 Jeffrey Ross, horse-racing correspondent for WMN since 1983 when winning the most prestigious racing journalist award, Sporting Life Naps Table, before winning it a record number of six times collectively in the Racing Post, the current ‘trade’ paper, including 2019