Soft ground forecast at Exeter and Gustavian is likely to be a short price to go one better than when runner up at Ffos Las less than two weeks ago when he would surely have won but for a poor round of jumping.
He steps up in trip to three miles for the first time over fences this afternoon but got the trip well enough over hurdles – despite not winning – and the additional distance could be what he needs to help his jumping.
He only got as far as the first here at New Year, however, and he is overlooked in favour of the consistent Huntsmans Jog (1.10) who finished a close third over C&D last time and whose 3lbs rise is negated by Liam Harrison’s claim. A dual winner between the flags he did jump slightly out to his right here last time but his sole win under rules came over timber here last season. Do note Liam Harrison rode him for his two successes in points. The opening 5s looks too big and he is 10/3 at the time of posting with 10Bet.
Tudors Treasure (3.40) is a three-time course winner and has dropped to his last winning mark. Regular pilot Tom O’Brien is claimed to ride the top-weight Keep Moving who is another who is well-weighted on his best form, but he may faster ground to be at his most effective.
Ciaran Gethings takes over in the saddle on Robert Stephens’ 11-year-old and the pair were only beaten a neck over 3m at Ffos Las from a 4lbs higher mark in November. The experiment with dropping Eros back to the minimum trip at Warwick last time was unsuccessful but he stayed on well enough in third to suggest he could win races returned to today’s near 2m 4f trip. The ew selection is 4s with MansionBet 5 places.
At Newcastle Gallic Geordie (1.55) is taken to continue his winning spree having won his last three for Samuel Drinkwater. He has been raised 27lbs for his three successes since November but is only 9lbs higher than when easily scoring at Newbury last time. He has been ridden by three different jockeys during his recent winning run and James Bowen gets his turn in the plate this afternoon. The opening 7/4 with William Hill looked big and he is 11/10 with Boylesports at the time of posting.
The 3m novices’ handicap chase is a belter with the lightly-raced Uncle Alastair (2.55) having just his twelfth race under rules at the age of ten. He may well have won his first six had he not come down three out on his hurdles debut and his 2L second to Vinndication at Carlisle on chase debut in November 2018 suggested he would become a top-class chaser for connections.
He has only seen the track twice in the interim period, however, although he did run a terrific race on his latest comeback when second at Carlisle last month from a 4lbs lower mark. He gave every indication that he would appreciate the return to three miles last month and he is a horse with untapped potential even at the age of ten. He is an uneasy 2/1 shot on Monday evening.
The market is headed by Omar Moretti who also finished runner up on his last start at Market Rasen over Christmas. His two hurdle wins have been well and truly franked, but I thought his jumping left room for improvement on Boxing Day. I thought One For Teddy looked a bigger danger stepping up to three miles.