Thursday 22 February 2018

Maguire to help chino valdes make amends

Chino Valdes could be one of the better-value options from the contingent of 10 Irish-trained runners that are in action at Hexham tomorrow.

Gordon Elliott's six-year-old tackles the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle under Jason Maguire. The 11-runner contest is competitive-looking, but Chino Valdes should make a bold bid to amend for being a beaten favourite at Perth a fortnight ago.

Not extended when scoring off 95 at Fairyhouse in January, he struggled a little in two subsequent outings when the going got really heavy. After a short break, the Craigsteel gelding returned with a facile triumph off 106 on good ground at Cork.

Since then, his runner-up finish at Perth has been Chino Valdes' sole start, and that was no bad effort. He was beaten only by the useful Degas Art, a run that impressed the handicapper to the extent that he put him up three pounds despite his not winning.

If Chino Valdes obliges tomorrow, that decision will be justified. When you consider the strength of his opposition, the prospect of him doing so isn't diminished.

While the race is competitive, few of the selection's rivals are as progressive. The obvious alternative is The Strawberry One, a three-time winner already this summer.

However, David Arbuthnot's mare has met no serious opposition in racking up three novice hurdles at Towcester. As a result of her hat-trick, though, she now has a rating of 125, so she will need to be every bit as good as she has looked to score.

James Lambe could also get amongst the winners with City Of Doral in the three-mile handicap chase. This one gained valuable experience in some decent novice events at home during the winter, before returning from a short break to finish a staying-on third at tomorrow's venue last week.

Off the same mark of 89, he appeals over an extra half-a-mile now.

Irish Independent

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