One of the most likeable horses in training WHAT A WELCOME (2.45) makes big appeal at Newmarket today.
A winner six times last season, he comes here right on top of his game as he was just beaten a whisker at Goodwood last time out.
And this mile and six on the July course looks ideal for this classy and game performer who included a victory over two miles at Ascot amongst his many successes last season. His trainer Patrick Chamings is not a household name but he boasts a formidable 17% strike rate on the July course and there's ever chance he will add to that impressive tally today.
No question Chamings has transformed the five year old who kept winning throughout last season. And this could be his best time of year as he clocked up a hat trick at Newbury, Sandown and Windsor in late May/early June twelve months ago.
Dangers abound of course. The Cesarewitch fifth Theglasgowwarrior still looks on a fair mark and has a smart 5 lbs. claimer aboard. Amazing Red won this race last year and while he hasn't quite caught fire yet this season, he is not far away from doing so. He was third in the Goodwood contest where our selection finished second, but What A Welcome looks much the more progressive of the pair right now. It could also be that the handicapper has the measure of Amazing Red at this stage, but James Doyle's mount is still respected.
Speedo Boy was badly drawn in the Chester Cup and while he needs to pick up noticeably on recent efforts, he is well handicapped on best form. Amanda Perrett's Spirit Ridge is a likeable sort, well proven over a mile and a half and could thrive over this extended distance. While Lissitzky would need to improve again from his recent course and distance win, the four year old is still a work in progress and well capable.
Yet it's hard to get away from What A Welcome. He has won eight from twelve for his current trainer, fair shooting by any standards. He is totally ground versatile so while the expected good to firm conditions are ideal, any rain that falls won't worry connections in the slightest. He is rated at 100 and while he stays longer than the proverbial mother in law, he is not short of quickening speed when required. And he will be perfectly primed today, having shown his current well being when just beaten a nose by the very useful Kings Advice at Goodwood.
A marvellously consistent and versatile sort who is expertly handled by his much underrated but shrewd and talented trainer, What A Welcome can chalk up his ninth career success today.
Newmarket - 14:45
1 Point Each Way What A Welcome (8/1 Betvictor & Coral 4 places)
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