The current unseasonal dry spell shows no signs of abating and, with high pressure and thus clear skies continuing to hold sway, we are likely to lose a number of jumps due to the low sun at both Exeter and Leicester this afternoon.
Good ground at Exeter and I thought Neon Moon (1.40) ran much better than his finishing position would suggest over 2m 5f at Cheltenham on his sole start so far this term back in October, when he led at two out before fading close home.
The handicapper has seen fit to ease the each way selection 4lbs for that effort and the drop back in trip to this extended 2m 2f should see David Pipe’s six-year-old in a better light. Fergus Gillard keeps the ride in this conditional jockey’s event, and, at the time of writing, the horse is also entered at Chepstow on Friday. He would escape a penalty for that race if successful today. The ew recommendation is 4s with 10Bet.
Stablemate Morgenstern and the Philip Hobbs’ trained Hope You Do look the main dangers with the latter looking a sure-fire future winner when third here over a slightly shorter trip back in November. His conditional jockey has only ridden one winner under rules but can take off 10lbs which might prove crucial.
Jobesgreenlad is chasing a hat-trick having won at Ludlow and Hereford in recent months, but he is 15lbs worse off with Ambion Hill (3.40) for the 3L he was ahead of the selection for the first of those wins when the Colin Tizzard trained maiden was making his chase debut. The selection -3s with Boylesports – still looked to be going best when pecking four out – had jumped very well prior to that error – at Ludlow but was no match for Jobesgreenlad when that one went past.
On the revised terms I would be disappointed if Ambion Hill could not reverse the form although the form of the Tizzard yard remains a bit hit and miss at present.
Over to Leicester and French import Family Business made a terrific start to life in Britain when winning a competitive handicap chase over today’s C&D ahead of Crealion and Kilbrook (3.20), but there are reasons to believe that the third horse home will reverse the form at the revised terms.
At the tine of writing trainer Jonjo O’Neill has won with his last three runners and this Carlisle winner on chase debut back in the autumn looks sure to appreciate the forecast good ground. He jumped into the back of one of his rivals down the back straight here three weeks ago and is slightly better off with both the winner and second this afternoon. The ew selection is 13/2 with William Hill who are offering three places in this seven runner handicap.
Guy who is better than he showed at Ascot last time, Patroclus and Flegmatik are others to consider in a hot midweek handicap.
Earlier in the card Lively Citizen makes a quick reappearance having been pulled up early in the piece following a slipped saddle at Cheltenham on Saturday when well fancied. His previous win also at Cheltenham the previous month from just a 5lbs lower mark gives him ever chance but I do hope to see Ladykiller (2.50) improve for his recent Newbury run – his first over hurdles since September 2020 – when he finished third although he was 20 lengths behind the winner.
A listed winner on the level over just shy of two-miles in his listed Germany, the hope is that today’s slightly better ground should suit David Pipe’s 6-y-old – 2s with MansionBet – who begins life handicapping from a mark that could look very lenient by the end of the campaign.