Springfield Fox will be hard to beat if able to transfer last season’s very useful chase form back to hurdles but OSCAR ELITE powered clear to win easily over 2m3f here on last month’s rules debut and looks an exciting prospect.
Le Coeur Net didn’t have to pull out every stop to win at Ffos Las but this quick return asks for a bit more under a penalty. OSTUNI, who might still have had more to offer over hurdles, put in a pleasing round of jumping despite the thankless task on his Exeter chase debut and he should be able to make his mark in handicaps. Elixir Du Gouet is an unknown quantity after a downbeat start to his British career but he remains of definite interest following wind surgery. Pistol Park, Faustinovick and Supreme Escape are others to consider.
The Captains Inn looked very promising in novice hurdles in early 2019 and will be feared if strong in the betting after his long absence, while lightly raced 5yo Gustavian looks interesting over a new trip today and recent Ffos Las winner Exploiteur also has low mileage. However, TRIXSTER ran quite a bit better than the bare form suggests on last month’s reappearance outing and is selected to record his second heavy-ground C&D win.
Headgear is enlisted for LAMANVER PIPPIN (nap) who should still be capable of better at this stage of his second season over fences. The Two Amigos is a more exposed candidate who may provide the sternest opposition. With Venetia Williams in such good form, Yalltari is third on the list but Bobo Mac looked the right sort last season and Secret Reprieve has clear potential, so they too are seriously considered.
St Barts ran well in defeat on last month’s seasonal/chase debut and has plenty of scope to build on that performance on today’s slower ground but it might pay to give another chance to JAMMY GEORGE, who flopped badly on his latest outing but gave a good account on his penultimate appearance and has some headgear back on today. Thomas McDonagh and Ask Me Early are others for the shortlist.
Paul Nicholls’ TAKE YOUR TIME comes here after a ready win at Lingfield last month and might well be good enough to overcome his penalty. Useful chaser The Kings Writ hasn’t run over hurdles for a long time but could be dangerous if fully revved up for this seasonal debut. Can You Call and Slip Road showed more than enough in bumpers to suggest they can also feature.
The Paul Nicholls newcomer Montys Medoc is particularly interesting given the yard’s great record in bumpers here but GETASTAR has the public form behind him and he looked a promising individual when third at Ffos Las on his debut. Not Sure should be more at home with this tough test than he was at Ludlow and is preferred to Little Else and the newcomer Name In Lights.
- Matt Chapman’s 8 top tips for Saturday’s racing
- Paddy Power’s selections for all of the best action on Saturday
- Paul Jacobs’ 3 value picks for Saturday