Soft ground forecast at Bangor-on-Dee for today’s card and Maypole Class (12.45) shaped better than his finishing position would suggest in a hot Uttoxeter novice handicap on his chase debut. He is entitled to improve for the run, and this drop back in trip is no concern given underfoot conditions. The opening 6s with William Hill looked a bit too big and the each way recommendation – 2 places – is 9/2 at 10bet at the time of posting..
Big Chief Benny has been lightly raced in recent years and hinted that a return to a left-hand track would suit when fourth in both starts last season. They were both, arguably, tougher races than he faces today, and he represents the inform stable of Alan King. He receives 4lbs from the selection this afternoon, but he might be best served by slightly better ground.
My two against the field in the 3m Handicap Chase are Django Django and Kilbricken Storm (1.55) with marginal preference for the latter who reverts to chasing having run over hurdles last season. The each way selection – 10s with Unibet 4 places – is a former Albert Bartlett winner who begins life this season 8lbs lower than was the case 12 months ago. He did win first time out over fences two seasons ago, although he didnt look a natural, and has the build to jump a fence. Django Django was never competitive in a valuable Ascot handicap on his reappearance when he was badly baulked at the start. He is better than that.
If the ground is no worse than good to soft at Exeter, I hope to see The Composeur (12.55) make it third time lucky for the season in the 3m conditional jockey’s handicap hurdle. The ew selection – 5/1 with Boylesports 4 places – has finished runner up in both starts so far this term and is 4lbs rise for a neck defeat at Ludlow last time is negated by the 5lbs claim of the excellent Kevin Brogan.
The Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase is a cracker and Ofalltheginjoints made a pleasing chase debut when third at Aintree from a 4lbs lower mark last month. My immediate reaction was that the 6-y-old failed to stay the extended three-mile trip and he did win first time out last season.
Tedham is a horse with a future over fences but St Barts (2.36) begins life over fences from what looks a favourable mark. The selection was a fortunate winner of a point when trained by Ed Walker and won two of four starts over hurdles for Philip Hobbs last term. Those successes were gained on heavy ground and it is possible that this ground will be too lively for him, but I am convinced he will be winning his share of staying chases this term. Another ew recommendation he is 11/2 with BetVictor – from 6s.
The Beginners Chase is the best race of the day with Sporting John, Silver Hallmark and Fiddlerontheroof (3.10) in opposition in what promises to be a most informative novice between three potential high-class chasers.
The Tizzard horse – 5/6 with William Hill – gets the vote as he has already had a run when runner up at Ffos Las over 2m 5f and this slight drop back in trip should suit. A Grade 1 winner over hurdles he gets a narrow vote although it should be noted that his south Wales conqueror – If The Cap Fits – was readily brushed aside by Pym at Sandown on Sunday.
Breffniboy (3.41) ran out a facile winner at Kempton on Monday and escapes a penalty for that success given it was a conditional jockey’s contest. Tom Buckley is still able to claim 7lbs despite riding out his claim aboard the selection and, if in the same mood, he will be very hard to beat. The 6/5 with William Hill didnt last too long and he is 5/6 with the same firm at the time of posting.
Crack Du Ninian is likely to be all the rage for the opening handicap hurdle at Ayr following his fluent win at Uttoxeter last month from a 6lbs lower mark. This step up in trip really ought to suit this 3m point-to-point winner but the nod goes to Those Tiger Feet (12.35). The selection, who opened up 9/2 with William Hill, has won first time out for the last couple of years and he returns to the track from another near 12-month lay-off. Kim Bailey fits his 6-y-old with first time cheek-pieces this afternoon. The selection is 5/2 with BetVictor.