Showers forecast during the day at Exeter today ahead of their feature race of the year the Haldon Gold Cup which is likely to be run on perfect jumping ground.
Dal Horrisgle is rated 94 on the level and makes his hurdles debut for Alan King in the Novice Hurdle over two miles. He ran a particularly good race on his first start for the stable at Ascot last month but may need further than the minimum trip over timber. That said a check of the market is advised.
Bravemansgame (1.55) is a winning pointer who finished runner up on his first start over timber in a slowly run event at Chepstow – Allenby who reopposes back in fourth – and is taken to go one better for Paul Nicholls. The selection – 5/6 from 10/11 with William Hill – will get further in time and I hope Harry Cobden ensures the race is run at a decent gallop.
Greaneteen has been all the rage for the Haldon Gold Cup since betting began on the Grade 2 contest but my two against the field are Not That Fuisse (2.25) and Moonlighter with marginal preference for the latter as long as the ground is no worse than good to soft.
The selection was slightly disappointing at Cheltenham last time, but I believe he is better going right-handed and his win at Perth on his previous start was a good performance. Dan Skelton fits the ew recommendation – 8/1 4 places with William Hill – with cheek-pieces for the first time this afternoon and I will be disappointed if he doesn’t run a big race as long as conditions don’t deteriorate markedly.
Red River (2.55) was beaten 30L by The Mighty Don at Chepstow on his reappearance but he is a better horse going right-handed and he is taken to outstay Enrillo who finished runner up at Chepstow but looked all over the winner on that occasion before being, seemingly, outstayed over three miles. If this race were over 2m 4f then the Nicholls horse would be a confident vote, but it is not and, with the Kim Bailey yard in such good form, Red River is taken to cause a bit of a shock.
The selection’s two career wins have been gained on right-hand tracks including over three miles on soft ground. I appreciate he may not be the force of old, but he was not given a hard time once his chance had gone on his reappearance and I would be disappointed if he didn’t reverse the form with The Mighty Don even though he is only allowed 6lbs for 30 lengths. The each way recommendation is 7/1 with BetVictor – 2 places.
I remain unconvinced about the form of the Emma Lavelle string but if there is a blot on the handicap in the 3m chase it is likely to be Killer Clown (3.25) who jumped the second fence well at Uttoxeter on his chase debut, but jockey Ben Jones was knocked out of the saddle when Small Farm jumped violently out to the left.
A winning pointer the ew selection remains a maiden over Rules, but his third at Ascot over 2m 5f on his final start over timber suggested he would appreciate the step up to three miles over fences. The 14/1 available when betting opened on the race was crackers and he is 7/1 with Boylesports – 4 places.
Meep Meep (3.55) was well backed at Market Rasen on her reappearance and was very confidently ridden before failing to pick up in the home straight. The mare was taken out of a race at Bangor because of heavy ground last week but good to soft ground would be ideal and she is taken to reward each way support at 10/1 with BetVictor.