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We have a mix of racing from Warwick featuring the Classic Chase and the Leamington Spa Novices Hurdle plus three races from Market Rasen.
Just three go to post for this 3m Grade 2 Chase with Paul Nicholls’ Next Destination who’ll be a tough nut to crack back on soft ground. He is a solid jumper. Fiddlerontheroof has proven expensive to follow over fences but takes a dramatic step up in trip now to 3m and maybe he’ll prove that’s what he’s been crying out for. I’m prepared to wait until he does it though.
The outsider of the three is Golan Fortune and he ran a hell of a race when fourth to Shan Blue in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices Chase at Kempton over Christmas. A reproduction of that level of form could see him really rattle the others.
Just the five runners for this 2m handicap hurdle but Edwardstone has to be the one. He finished fifth in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham in November and also finished sixth in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Festival. He unseated his rider over fences at Doncaster last time but sets a good standard over timber. The likely pacesetter Oscars Leader who holds the key to the race.
Adrimel has won at Haydock and Sandown and sets a good standard. The ground will not be an issue for him. He’s fitted with cheekpieces as his jumping is not as fluent as it could be and the headgear will help him with that. Oscar Elite has been really impressive in two wins this season, but Colin Tizzard’s yard is struggling to find its form. The form of Mint Condition wins have been franked, but Make Me A Believer won nicely at Cheltenham last time and the David Pipe yard is flying.
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On The Blind Side has strung together a host of good runs lately, but turns around quickly after a good second to McFabulous last Saturday at Kempton. Lil Rockerfeller is a very tough nut to crack and never runs a bad race. He ran really well back over the smaller obstacles at Newbury, so this should set up nicely for him. The one I’m siding with though is Mohaayed, who ran really well at Cheltenham when not beaten too far when third to Come on Teddy.
If Bridget Andrews can hold onto him, they can swoop past Lil Rockerfeller in the closing stages.
The Hollow Ginge ran a great race in the Ladbroke Chase at Newbury but unseated his rider at Chepstow in the Welsh National. That’s far from ideal – but looks a very good each-way shout in this competitive heat.
Hoerver, Alan King’s Notachance is progressing nicely, is a good jumper and will love this stiff test. She has a lovely racing weight of 10st 5lb to carry.
Just seven runners are declared for the mares’ Flat race and Willie Mullins sends over Grangee from Ireland. She’s won her only start at Galway last October and Nico de Boinville rides. However, I really like Pam Sly’s filly Eileendover who has won both her races very impressively by wide distances and looks very smart. She can see off Grangee.
A Festival qualifier where the first six home qualify for the Pertemps Final in March. Horses that have finished in the first six here but not necessarily won, have gone on to run very well in that final. Potters Corner is a former Welsh National winner who will be aimed at the Aintree Grand National in April, so will not be showing his hand over fences before the entries and weights for the Grand National are published next month.
He is much lower-rated over hurdles and this contest looks ideal for him to try and past the post in front as he needs a ratings hike to get into the Pertemps Final.
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