TRUCKERS Lodge, from the Paul Nicholls yard, took the beginners chase at last Tuesday’s Chepstow fixture.

The race is often a stepping stone to better things. After racing the Grade 1-winning hurdler Champ schooled over a few fences in readiness for a novice chasing campaign, which could begin at Newbury on Thursday.

If Nicholls lets his Aintree bumper winner McFabulous take his chance at Chepstow today in the two and a half mile maiden hurdle, he will be a very short price. Nebuchadnezzar has some good placed efforts to his credit over shorter distances and is a sporting alternative.

Clearly Capable has been second in her last two runs for Dai Burchell, 14 months apart. She has been hard to train and connections deserve a change of luck in the 1.00.

Any Venetia Williams runners are well worth considering, as her stable has hit form in the last few days.

Borak won his sixth race for Bernard Llewellyn at Taunton last Wednesday, almost exactly a year after his previous victory – coincidentally at the same odds, 14/1, and again with Robert Williams on board. The horse suffered no ill effects from being brought down at Huntingdon a fortnight prior to that. Coming from behind off a strong pace seemed to suit him. All going seems to come alike to him, as he’s won on firm and heavy.

It’s been an up and down year for David Evans. His stable was quiet in March and June, the latter when a virus compelled them to shut up shop for a fortnight. On the positive side, he’s had Good Vibes competing in Group races and winning one, and the yard had nine winners in the month of October. November got off to a good start with J’Ouvert breaking her duck at Chelmsford on Saturday, having her fifth outing for Evans since changing hands for 14,000 guineas. She hung on by a rapidly diminishing nose, which was compensation for being beaten a neck a week before over the same course and distance. Each time she was ridden by the northern-based jockey Ben Curtis, whose record for Evans this year is 6-18.

In contrast, going down by a nose was the fate of Grace Harris’ Glamorous Crescent at Kempton on Thursday. She was caught on the last stride. The filly has proved frustrating since moving to the Shirenewton yard this year; second three times, third three times, only once out of the frame in ten starts but just one win. She fought hard to keep her lead at Kempton, so there’s nothing wrong with her attitude.

Robert Stephens’ sometimes enigmatic performer Espresso Freddo has run a couple of good second places recently, latterly on Saturday at Newmarket, where racegoers were trying to recall the last time the ground there was officially designated as heavy. It’s a pity there is so little of the turf season left when he’s in top form. Stablemate First Destination, who won a bumper in 2017 but has only run twice since, may appear in the two mile maiden hurdle at today’s Chepstow meeting. To expect a win would be optimistic, yet persevering connections must think this seven-year-old mare has some ability.