There is a decent card at Wetherby this afternoon and in the novices’ chase I hope to see Uncle Alistair (1.30) go one better than was the case at Carlisle on his reappearance when no match for Papa Tango Charly at Carlisle on his first start for over nine months. 

The winner did little for the form at Haydock subsequently, but the selection is lightly-raced for a ten-year-old and his 2L second to Vinndication as a novice is tremendous form in the context of this race. Nicky Richards’ gelding is well served by soft ground and receives 6lbs from main rival Erne River who will do well to give the weight and a beating to the selection. 

Thomas McDonagh should ensure a decent gallop in the 2m handicap chase, and I hope he sets the race up for the hat-trick seeking Hasankey (2.40) who beat a dual subsequent winner of Donald McCain’s over 6L at Ayr on heavy ground last time and can defy another 9lbs rise. The selection goes well for conditional jockey Lewis Stones who again takes off a valuable 10lbs.

Fifteen go to post for the 3m handicap chase and it is ultra competitive from top-weight Crirxus’s Escape – who has had a wind operation since his last start – through Dhowin of Warren Greatrex – the yard could do with a winner after their dreadful news over the weekend – but the pin has come down on the bottom-weight Sigurd (3.15).

The each way selection – 22/1 with William Hill 4 places – has been dropping down the weights like a stone of late but I thought he looked to be coming back to something like his best form when fourth over C&D last time under Nathan Moscrop. The yard of Joanne Foster had a horse – Da Vinci Code – run a terrific race at Catterick on Monday and this inmate won over C&D from a 1lb higher mark back in March. 

At Hereford I hope to see Southern Sam (3.05) build on his promising comeback from a two-year lay-off at Ffos Las when a staying on third over 2m 5f. That was his first start for Richard Bandey, having left Oliver Sherwood since he was last seen in 2019, and he has been given two months to get over those exertions. 

He jumped slightly out to his right – certainly down the back straight – in south Wales and he suggested that a step up trip to today’s extended 3m 1f would see him in an even better light. The Bandey stable were on fire earlier in the season, but they bounced back to form with a winner at Uttoxeter at the

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