The Carlisle executive were due to conduct a precautionary inspection of the track at noon on Sunday with underfoot conditions described as heavy.
Three previous winners go to post in the five-runner 2m 3f+ Novices’’ Hurdle including Donald McCain’s promising Catterick soft-ground winner Silver Flyer (2.25) who can follow up under Brian Hughes.
The selection – 11/10 at William Hill – cost £50,000 having won a point-to-point in his native Ireland on good ground but coped well enough with plenty of cut last time. High Moon – trained by the excellent Rebecca Menzies – won in a faster time over the same C&D four days later, but I just feel the McCain horse will sit on the tail of High Moon before pouncing late.
Bavington Bob (4.05) has been raised 8lbs for a smooth win at Newcastle last time when he overcame a couple of indifferent early leaps to come home strongly. This is a much better race, but he is clearly improving over fences, is a previous course winner and his stable’s small string remain in good heart. The selection is 15/8 with 10Bet.
Equus Dreamer has not yet transferred his hurdle form to fences, but he has had his wind tweaked since his last start and is fitted with cheekpieces for the first time. Trainer Kim Bailey had an excellent weekend and a market move for his 7-y-old would be worth noting.
West To The Bridge is a short price to follow up his fluent Chepstow win last month when he made all for the Skeltons’ from an 8lbs lower mark. He has won from a 3lb higher mark over today’s C&D in the past and looks the one to beat.
The Con Man (4.37) has not seen the track for almost two years, but his record first time out reads 112 and he was a novice hurdler who looked to be going places when last seen in March 2020. One would imagine he will be going novice chasing later in the year, but he can race from the same mark as when last seen winning at Ayr. He has won four of his seven career starts including a novice hurdle over C&D and the 6/1 available ew with Boylesports looks fair.