NAP of the Day: 7/4 shot to stamp authority at Chepstow

 | January 29 | 

2 mins read

Owen McMahon's NAP of the Day

On Tuesday, it's over to a heavy-ground Chepstow for the NAP of the Day.

NAP of the Day

  • 15:20 Chepstow - Authorised Speed 7/4

Generally, I steer clear of races with four or less runners because I find they often cough up 'odd' results. But at Chepstow on Tuesday, I'm going against the grain for reasons I will soon explain.

Only four go to post for this novices' handicap chase over the minimum trip, with Nicky Henderson's Issuing Authority heading the market at time of writing.

The seven-year-old is priced on the premise there was a serious amount of improvement between his chasing debut at Exeter in late November, when beaten 14 lengths back in forth, and his 15-length triumph at Haydock just before Christmas.

I'm not certain that's the case - at least not to the extent it appears on paper. It was a three-runner affair on heavy ground and the second-placed Inedit Star bled and was found lame post-race, so it could easily be the case that Issuing Authority, who's been raised six pounds by the handicapper, was flattered by the result.

I want to take him on - but who with?

Midnight Ginger is hard to advise on his hurdles form, let alone his disappointing chasing debut last month, which leaves Zambesi Fix and Authorised Speed.

The former, who will relish conditions, is a much better chaser than hurdler and his current mark of 125 is probably still a little lenient, but my vote goes to the latter.

Gary Moore's seven-year-old, who finished fifth in the 2022 Champion Bumper, was an inconsistent but talented novice hurdler and has shown plenty of that same ability this season in this new discipline.

He was travelling all over his three rivals before departing two out on his chasing debut at Ascot prior to Christmas, but was a little disappointing at Plumpton a week into the new year.

Mistakes, different tactics and a longer trip are all viable excuses for that performance. I think he's capable of much better and will hopefully show it here as he, off a pound lower, returns to two miles.

What's crucial for me, and why I'm not so worried about the field size, is that I make the selection the likely front-runner. He's got the versatility to race in many ways, but he's arguably at his best when setting the fractions, as he did when looking a likely winner at Ascot, and surely adopts such tactics here.

On deep ground he's proven on and with a good round of jumping, he could gallop these rivals into submission from the front.

Authorised Speed to win the 15.20 Chepstow at 7/4

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