The ground was described as good on Tuesday morning for today’s Stratford card, but further rain is forecast, and the likelihood is that conditions will be no better than good to soft for today’s nine-race card.
Seddon (12.45) won first time out here over hurdles a couple of years ago and is taken to make a winning chase debut for Tom George in the Novice Chase over the extended two miles. The seven-year-old will get further in time but is not short of pace and has a perfect record first time out. He certainly has the scope to jump a fence and is the stable’s first runner of the new season. Yes, he returns from a 450-day lay-off but if there is a star on show today, then I think it will be Seddon who is 11/8 with Boylesports.
There were a number of exciting winners at Southwell on the opening day of the jump’s season last week including Nineohtwooneoh (2.20) who showed an impressive turn of foot to run away with the opening novices’ handicap chase for Paul Nicholls. The six-year-old looks sure to be raised more than the 7lbs penalty he carries this afternoon and, while he bounced off the good ground last week, he has won on soft ground over hurdles. He was put in originally at 15/8 with bet365 but was trimmed to 11/8.
The handicapper has certainly given Monbeg River a chance in the handicap chase over 2m 6f, but a similar sentiment applies to Captain Buck’s (3.50) who returns to Paul Nicholls having spent time last season between the flags for Rose Loxton. The selection – 11/4 from 10/3 with bet365 – has bits of form that make him look very well treated at present although I appreciate, he has never been the heartiest of battlers and was beaten at 1/7 in a match in a point back in March! He did get his head in front later in the month, however, at Larkhill and has dropped to an attractive looking mark. Note the horse generally runs right-handed – including between the sticks – but did jump gun-barrel straight at Newton Abbot a couple of seasons ago.
At Ripon, Lismore (1.10) is fitted with cheek-pieces for the first-time having finished third at Wolverhampton behind a couple of well-bred three-year-olds who looked well ahead of their current marks. The filly – 7/4 from 5/2 with William Hill – is certainly bred to win races and she will surely leave a mark in the 50s well behind in time. Mark Johnston’s Justified looks the obvious danger carrying a 6lbs penalty for scoring at Hamilton last week.
A good run from Rocket Rod (late Non Runner) at Leicester on Tuesday evening would give the form of Nova Roma’s (7.10) Windsor win a boost given the John Gosden-trained runner had 4L to spare at the line over the Hugo Palmer runner last month. That was the selection’s first run on turf, and he looked a colt of considerable potential. The long Newbury straight should suit, and Frankie Dettori has his first ride of the week.
Dettori has every chance in the fillies’ 10f handicap with Yarmouth maiden winner Majestic Noor but I just favour Red Poppy (8.10) stepped up to 10f for the first time for William Haggas. The selection – 6s with Unibet – finished third at Thirsk over a mile last month – runner up has subsequently gone one better – giving every indication she would improve for the extra quarter of a mile of this evening’s contest.
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