The revelation J’Ai Froid to make Hexham headlines
Back J’Ai Froid @ 13/8 in the 12:40 at Hexham
We’re at my favourite jumps’ track and my beloved Hexham on Wednesday for what looks a good card. The 12:40 Novices’ Chase might only have four runners, and the presence of Emitom gives it a classy feel, but I want to take him on with Laura Morgan’s J’Ai Froid, a horse who proved a revelation over hurdles last term.
Granted he’s a short price, but Emitom has a bit to prove at the moment and Doyen Breed was disappointing last time in a winnable race.
J’Ai Froid’s hurdling CV in 2021 included four wins and a second on Grand National Day. The visor sparked him into life and he peeled off wide-margin victories at Ayr (22L), Doncaster (7L) and Warwick (13L). His win at Ascot too was hot form beating some decent hurdlers.
His jumping let him down a bit in the closing stages in Liverpool when he signed off, but that was a terrific effort and he really served it up to winner and must have given his owner Mrs K Bromley a great thrill.
His excellent trainer Morgan has always said he’s a chaser and Hexham could be made for this horse as he’s such a strong stayer, although she has described him as a bit of an oddball too – which is my I like him even more.
She introduced a very nice bumper horse at Sedgefield this month to win and she’s already hit 14 winners with 10 placed and nearly 100K in prize money – well on par to beat last term’s totals. And a good website too.
Jim should relish the marathon test in north east
Back For Jim @ 7/2 in the 13:50 at Hexham
A gruelling 4m at Hexham is just about my perfect race, and while the second selection was whittled down to a shortlist of a few – including newcomers Hashtag Be Kind and Captain Quint and some old favourites like Getaway Lucy and Golan Lad, I am happy siding with the track specialist For Jim.
Jennie Candlish’s 9yo won in soft ground here over 3m last time, a race where they went off far too hard. At no stage was he ever going, but his stamina kicked in and he picked them up. He traded at a high of 75.074/1 in the run, so it’s worth bearing in mind to throw in a high price as he isn’t a smooth traveller – all he does is stay.
He has the beating of Real Armani while Prince Dundee could be interesting, as the Scottish raider slugged it out at Hexham last May. The latter looks a fair each-way bet too at 9/1.
And while For Jim needs a personal best from 116 and a 5lb higher mark, his stamina sways me. Just don’t expect him to look pretty.