Five winners and an each way second – 6/1 – from seven selections on Wednesday – but I wonder if the loser – Kilbricken Storm – might be the one to take from the day.
Racing in lane eight for much of the race he looked as if he might take a dip in the River Dee on occasions such was the wide path he trod. He jumped very well before pulling up before the last – well you would if you raced an 800 metre race in lane 8 – and his next outing is one I am very much looking forward to. Going forward he might be one for something like the Kim Muir.
There was a band of rain due to sweep across Britain overnight on Wednesday and the ground is likely to be on the soft side of good for today’s seven-race card at Ludlow.
Marble Moon finished third in the near 3m 2f handicap chase 12 months ago from a 13lbs higher mark – soft ground – and he would have been the selection had it not been for the concern over the form of the Evan Williams string who are not quite firing on all cylinders.
Marginal preference is for Checkitout (2.15) who looked in need of a step up in trip when a staying on fifth at Uttoxeter on his first start for Nigel Twiston-Davies in a hot novices’ handicap. The selection – 9/4 from 4s with William Hill – jumped soundly on what was his chase debut at the Staffordshire track and can give weight to his six rivals.
Lygon Rock’s (3.25) course form reads 21 and he bounced back to form when runner up at Warwick last time from a 3lbs lower mark despite coming back with blood coming out of his nostrils. The selection – 10/3 with Boylesports – is ridden by an inexperienced amateur who has only one career win to her name over jumps, but I do feel the seven-year-old is well treated at present for trainer Henry Daly who loves to have winners at his local track.
At Taunton, Tomorrow Mystery has been raised a stone for winning at Newbury on Friday but can race from the same mark this afternoon as that was a conditional jockey’s event. He should take all the beating, but the 3m handicap chase makes more appeal as a betting medium with all seven holding realistic claims.
Pontresina (2.40) wouldn’t want too much rain but he is, arguably, unlucky not to be unbeaten so far over fences having been first past the post – lost the race in the Stewards’ Room – at Fontwell before making amends at Kempton last time. A 4lbs rise for that success looks fair and I liked the way he fended off the challenge of the runner up on the run to the line. The 5/2 with BetVictor looks fair – weather permitting.
A flat right-handed track clearly suits Another Stowaway and I like the booking of Bryan Carver for Tom George’s eight-year-old, although one would imagine his regular pilot – Johnny Burke who rides Pontresina – would have had the choice of mounts.
If Buck’s Bin (3.45) ever learns to settle he could make a mockery of his current handicap mark and he travelled like a dream into a much stronger race at Newbury back in December before finding little having pulled his rider’s arms out. The selection is again fitted with a tongue tie and a hood and his point-to-point form is strong – finishing second to Longhouse Sale on debut before winning his second. It is possible that he will again pull his chance away but at 9/2 with William Hill I am prepared to give him one last chance.
Rose To Fame puts her unbeaten Taunton record – 2-2 – on the line in a competitive mares’ handicap hurdle over 2m 5f. She is only 6lbs higher for scoring here last month over the minimum trip, but I just favour Pogo I Am (4.15) stepping up in distance to this near two-and-half-miles. The ew selection – 6s with Unibet – has been sent off market leader for her last five starts – winning just one – but she has given the impression in her last couple of outings that she will appreciate stepping back up in distance.
At Sedgefield African Dance (2.32) steps up in trip having finished well when runner up at Ludlow over the minimum distance on his hurdles debut last month. At the time of writing Olly Murphy has only had one winner in the last fortnight – 49 runners – and he will be looking for a change of fortunes ahead of the big three-day Cheltenham November meeting. The 5/6 with BetVictor might be a shade too big.