Fast ground at Taunton and Paul Nicholls should know where he stands with the penalised Honneur D’Ajonc given the latter finished second to the champion trainer’s Time To Tinker at the last meeting here over 2m 1f. The additional quarter of a mile will suit the Jane Williams 4-y-old, but I hope there is more to come from Glajou (1.30).
I remember the selection bouncing off the good ground – not good to soft as per official description – at Southwell over fences at the minimum trip back in December and he receives 7lbs from the top-weight. He failed to build on that Southwell win, but he remains a maiden over timber. My one concern would be this 2m 3f trip as his success came at two miles, but this fast ground is the key, and he has had a wind operation in the summer.The 11/10 with MansionBet in what looks a match looks about right.
Kayley Woollacott has not trained a winner since the spring, but I hope she can get on the board for the season courtesy of the grey Caspers Court (2.02). The 7-year-old – 4/1 with 10Bet – has been dropped 2lbs since finishing third at Exeter on his reappearance and that should have blown the cobwebs away. His hurdles success last October was gained on firm ground and his point-to-point success in his native Ireland was achieved on good ground.
Tom Scudamore – who was in the saddle at a foggy Exeter on his comeback – keeps the ride. The well backed Catch The Cuban gets further, and Brendan Powell looks sure to make it a decent test at the trip, but the grey has the build to make a chaser and gets the vote.
The listed Mares’ Chase is the feature contest at Market Rasen but of more interest is the three-mile handicap chase where I must give Starsky (2.10) another chance. The Dan Skelton trained 7-year-old- 13/8 with MansionBet – idled close home when beaten a nose at Market Rasen on his chase debut last month and it is no surprise to see cheekpieces being fitted for the first time.
The recommendation has a good record fresh, and the concern is whether five weeks is a big enough break for the gelding who was an impressive winner over hurdles at Warwick back in May.
Little Orange has been raised a couple of pounds for finishing second to Broadway Joe at Kelso over 2m 1f last time. The additional quarter of a mile will suit but, if Cilluirid (1.12) is in the same mood as when scoring over C&D last week, then he will take all the beating despite a 7lbs rise.
Tom Easterby’s 7-year-old – 13/8 with Boylesports – has won two of his last three starts – both at today’s track – and he would have an extra 4lbs to carry from the weekend. He is clearly improving rapidly over fences.
The big race of the day is the Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase which sees the reappearance of Fakir D’Oudairies (2.25) who must give weight to his three rivals who all have race fitness on their side. Joseph O’Brien’s chaser finished runner up in the Ryanair and landed the Melling Chase at Aintree back in the spring before failing to stay three miles at Punchestown on his last start. He has a good record fresh and can make a winning start to his campaign.