A NEW season of national hunt racing is launched at Bangor-on-Dee this afternoon. Racing begins at 2.15pm with the Holly-bush Juvenile Novices' Hurdle, over two miles and one furlong.
Most of the entries are facing hurdles in public for the f irst time so there is little form for punters to go on. At the five-day entry stage, Blue Venture is the only horse with a win to his name.
This was a half-length victory at Market Rasen two weeks ago, when the gelding started at 8-1, despite being allocated top weight. Racecourse experience should help, though the odds will be shorter today.
Trainer Martin Pipe recorded a treble at this meeting last year and Miss Cool will be supported to do better in the Johnstown Novices' Chase than on her last appearance, when she made a jumping error and finished second at Newton Abbott.
It is difficult to evaluate the recent form of the Ginger McCain's Binny Bay, who recorded a win at Perth in July.
The second horse home took the wrong course before being turned around and the third horse fell and was remounted. The filly was sent off favourite at Hereford on her previous appearance and has place credentials here.
Shirazi looks the likely favourite in the two-mile-one-furlong Jewson Novices' Hurdle (Series Qualif ier). The five-year-old won a similar contest at Newton Abbot on June 28 and warrants a place on punters' shortlists for this £7,000 race.
Several entries in the Higher Wych Novices' Handicap Chase have recorded wins in recent weeks.
Sharp Steel has a weight advantage and is capable of running into a place following his win at Worcester on July 16, but Ceres-f ield drew 11 lengths clear of his rivals when winning over this distance at Cartmel last month and should repeat that win, despite carrying more weight.
There is no obvious form horse entered for the Wirral Handicap Hurdle, run over two and a half miles, as Brooksie, who won on his last two starts, has not been on the racecourse for over 12 months.
Xaipete is a consistent type from Richard Guest's yard and will find this an easier outing than when f inishing in mid-division at Market Rasen two weeks ago.
On Sunday, Chester Racecourse holds a popular family day of racing. The feature race of the afternoon is the six-furlong Cheshire Life Queensferry Stakes.
A low draw greatly assists the winning prospects. Golden Nun and The Kiddykid are shortlisted, subject to the draw.
Golden Lariat, from the powerful Stoute yard, is selected for the North West Racing Club Handicap.
Random Quest was just caught on the line in his last outing at Newmarket. The gelding is a course and distance winner and should score in the Sporting Options Curzon Park Rated Stakes.
Miss Mytton, from the Alan Bailey stable, deserves to win a race, finishing half a length second at Ayr on July 21.
Cape Trafalgar may prove the biggest danger to the local filly in the opener at 2.20pm, the Halli-well Jones BMW Nursery Handicap. Again, a low draw is an advantage in this five-furlong sprint.