Dark horses: Creepy and Annacotty

martin keighleyFAIR enough, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe looks like being a decent little contest! And the Flat boys are banging on about the Breeders Cup and Champions Day, blah blah blah. But it’s October 1 tomorrow and that means the proper jumps season is almost here. Chepstow holds its first National Hunt card of the season and it could be a very good day for the upwardly mobile trainer Martin Keighley.

He saddles three young horses who could all go on to much better things this season. CREEPY runs in the opener and he was a real notebook horse last season. He won a bumper at Fontwell and was then highly tried in novice hurdles, including when an excellent fourth to Coneygree at Cheltenham. He hit the crossbar in his final two races so retains his maiden tag for this season. He is rated at 131 along with main rival Gassin Golf and he should go very close to breaking his duck.

I adore ANNACOTTY. The way he galloped and jumped his way to victory at Chepstow in February left a real imprint and he followed up with a similarly impressive victory over Haydock’s brush hurdles. He makes his chasing debut over 3m in a competitive heat tomorrow. Pantxoa is in good form although he has to give away 8lb while Full Of Joy and Cinevator are also fit and firing. But Annacotty, owned by the Prowting family who have been such staunch supporters of jump racing for 30 years, is said to have schooled really well and strengthened up over the summer. He could take a bit of catching.

Finally, JOHNNY OG is worth a look in the closing bumper. He has to carry a 7lb penalty for a fluent bumper win at Catterick but Ollie Garner’s claim is useful. There are some likely types in this contest but Johnny Og looks like he could have a future and should acquit himself well.

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