The ground was described as good at Fontwell on Monday morning but there was further rain forecast and conditions are likely to be no better than good to soft ahead of today’s nine-race card.
Duel winning pointer Easyrun De Vassy (2.15) is hardly one of the stable stars at Ditcheat, but he makes his chase debut from what could be an attractive mark for Paul Nicholls. The stable could certainly do with a fillip following the sad news of the passing of one the yard’s stalwarts Rose Loxton who died on Friday. Loxton was a successful point-to-point and hunter chase trainer and was described by Nicholls as “an all-round brilliant horsewoman.” The selection was 9/4 with bet365 on Monday but a best priced 2s with Boylesports at 7am on Tuesday morning.
The Philip Hobbs stable are slowly finding their feet and Umndeni (2.45) can make a winning seasonal debut for the yard in the handicap hurdle over a trip just shy of two-and-a-half-miles. The selection – 8s with Unibet – is a C&D winner who was out of sorts in just two starts last season. The hope is that he is back to his best this afternoon and he has certainly dropped to a favourable looking mark.
At Kempton, this evening Declaring Love (5.00) would have been a confident selection had it not been for the fact that she is drawn out so wide in stall 12 of 14. The filly is a strong traveller but has not been finding a great deal off the bridle over a mile. This drop back down to 7f should suit her style of racing although she is bred to get 10f. She is hardly thrown in from her opening mark but remains a filly of untapped potential and she would would look overpriced at 4/1 with bet365 were it not for her wide stall.
Atalis Bay didn’t beat a great deal at Windsor last time, but he was visually very impressive and on a line through Olympic Theatre he has the beating of Sadiqaa (5.30) but I feel the latter can bounce back after what was a disappointing run on the July course last time. I am prepared to forgive that poor run on firm ground and hope a true barometer of his ability is his Leicester debut success on ground that was softer than the official description of good to firm.
I am convinced there is more to come from Intrepid Italian but was hoping to see him tackle 7f having got going too late over 6f at Chepstow last time. Its a Given (6.00) has won two of her three career starts and was made Even money favourite for her handicap debut at Windsor on slow ground last time. The winner – May Sonic – has subsequently followed up here last week and the handicapper has dropped the selection by a pound. She gets the vote – 7/2 at 10bet – in a hot looking handicap.