The jumps season began in earnest at Chepstow this afternoon and we witnessed a couple of excellent performances. Crack Away Jack was trimmed from 11/1 to 9/1 for the Champion Hurdle following his fluent success in the Handicap Hurdle and novice chaser Herecomesthetruth was introduced into the betting for the Sun Alliance Chase at 25/1 after a flawless round of jumping in the Novices' Chase. Champion trainer Paul Nicholls and jockey Ruby Walsh doubled up with R De Rien Sivola in the Juvenile Hurdle bursting the Wake Board bubble and earning a 25/1 quote for the Triumph. Nicholls completed a treble at Bangor-On-Dee when Breedsbreeze in the famous Best Mate colours landed the Novice Chase but was left unchanged at 20/1 for the Sun Alliance Chase and 18/1 for the Arkle.
Howard Johnson has made a sensational start to the season in the north of England and Striking Article was every bit as impressive as stablemate Astarador was at Carlise 24 hours earlier and was cut to 20/1 from 28/1 for the Arkle after a bloodless victory at Hexham earlier in the afternoon. When you consider that Johnson introduced On Raglan Road and Drever Route at the last Hexham meeting it would be fair to say that he and major patron Graham Wylie have much to look forward to in the Novice divisions this season.
Latest Stan James prices on the Champion Hurdle
Katchit, Binocular 6/1, Osana 8/1, Crack Away Jack 9/1 (from 11s), Sizing Europe 10/1, Pierrot Lunaire 10/1, Punjabi 12/1, Jered 12/1 and 14s Bar.