The ground was described as good to soft at Bangor-on -Dee on Tuesday morning and there is a bit more rain forecast for north Wales. Conditions are likely to remain on the soft side of good.
The feature race on the card is the listed Mares’ Novices Chase. The front running Maskada has valuable jumping experience, but she made mistakes – jumped out to her left at Uttoxeter – on her chase debut and preference is for the chasing debutante The Glancing Queen (1.00).
The Alan King trained mare – 11/8 from 9/4 with William Hill – is a winner between the flags and a listed Bumper winner who won two of her five starts over hurdles last season and finished best of the Brits when fifth in the Cheltenham Novices’ Mares Hurdle at the Festival. She will get further in time but has won first time out in the past and this extended 2m 1f trip should suit on her first start since March.
There is a tremendous 3m handicap chase which sees the seasonal debut of the first three home in the Roland Meyrick – Canelo, Snow Leopardess and Windsor Avenue – and the return of the first of the British home in the Grand National – Blaklion. The each way vote, however, goes to Captain Tommy (1.30) runner up in the corresponding race 12 months ago from a 1lb lower mark when trained by Harry Whittington.
The each way selection returned from a summer break to run down the field in a valuable handicap at Market Rasen last month and he would not be inconvenienced if the forecast rain failed to materialise although his excellent run 12 months ago was gained on soft ground. There was 10/1 available first thing but he is 6s with Boylesports 4 places at the time of posting 8.30pm Tuesday.
If there is a star on show it is likely to come in the Novices’ Hurdle at Exeter. Luttrell Lad carries a 7lbs penalty for scoring at Worcester back in September and finished runner up in the G2 Persian War at Chepstow last month. He sets the standard, but Colin Tizzard believes there are races to be won with Jpr One over hurdles, Judicial Law won a Killarney Bumper back in May and has his first start for Jonjo O’Neill and I Am Maximus (1.10) makes his eagerly awaited hurdles debut for Nicky Henderson.
The selection – 4/5 at MansionBet – beat non other than My Drogo at Cheltenham last October on his sole Bumper start and was described by his handler as “one of the most exciting prospects we have had for a long time” in a recent Racing Post stable tour.
Lord Accord (1.40) has only raced right-handed once but he did jump slightly out to his right when scoring over hurdles on his penultimate start. He made a terrific start to life as a chaser when scoring at Uttoxeter from a 3lbs lower mark last time and the return to three miles is of no concern. The selection is 5/2 with Boylesports.
Winning pointer Shirocco’s Dream (3.40) shaped with promise over hurdles in a quiet season last for Colin Tizzard and the trainer was thinking of going straight over fences this term, but he must believe his mare can win over timber before making the switch to the larger obstacles.
I feel he has found a moderate contest although the Henderson trained mare Mind Sunday did win a Newbury Bumper on debut for the stable. There was 7/2 about briefly on Tuesday afternoon but he is into 13/8 at William Hill at the time of posting.