Soft ground at Market Rasen and Lady Tremaine is looking to make it three wins out of her last four starts in the mares’ handicap hurdle having scored at Bangor-on-Dee and Carlisle in recent months. She must go close, but Desaray Girl (1.35) is actually 4lbs lower than when scoring at Ayr last week in a conditional jockey’s event and she is very well treated on her best form.
Jockey Emma Smith-Chaston, who was in the saddle at Ayr, takes off 7lbs and she is sure to be raised at least 10lbs when the handicapper has his say on Tuesday morning. That new rating does not kick in until the weekend of course and Micky Hammond does have his mare entered at both Huntingdon and Sedgefield on Thursday. The mare is 15/8 with MansionBet.
The form of Felton Bellevue’s (3.55) second to Max Dynamo at Wincanton last month was given a boost when the winner dotted up from a 4lbs higher mark back at the track at the weekend. The selection – 9/4 with 10Bet – had previously won at Hereford and finished runner up over today’s C&D on soft ground at the beginning of December on what was just his second start over fences. He is 9lbs higher in the weights this afternoon, but he has improved since he switched his attentions to the larger obstacles with form figures of 2212.
Jessie Lightfoot has been raised 11lbs for scoring over C&D on what was just her second start over fences and she and Alright Chief are big dangers in a competitive little heat.
At Taunton Brianstorm will have his supporters for Venetia Williams in the 3m handicap chase and looks sure to give it a bold show from the front, but preference is for Premiumaccess (3.05) who ran as though he would appreciate a step back up in trip when third at Fontwell on his belated seasonal reappearance earlier in the month. He is 2lbs lower this afternoon and I would expect him to be ridden more prominently today than was the case last time. The selection is 5/2 with William Hill.
Dan Skelton’s Langer Dan has his first start since finishing second in the Martin Pipe Hurdle at Cheltenham back in March when he bumped into a certain Galopin Des Champs who went on to win at Grade 1 level over timber before turning his attentions to fences this term.
He is reported to be targeting the same handicap at the Festival next month and Lorcan Williams keeps the ride with one eye on that conditional jockey’s event. That race is over an additional half a mile to today’s and there must be a chance that connections will have left a bit to work on for March. He is only 5lbs higher than last time but 10lbs higher than when winning the Imperial Cup at Sandown on desperate ground five days earlier.
He looks sure to run well but preference is for Fontana Ellissi (3.40) at the foot of the weights for Samuel Drinkwater. The selection -7/2 with Boylesports – is 5lbs higher than when scoring at Ffos Las at the beginning of the month, but he is still well handicapped on his best form for his previous yard although he would not want the ground to be any worse than good to soft and there is further light rain forecast.