Buster Valentine has always been held in high regard by connections and was unbeaten in a bumper and a pair of novice hurdles before finishing well beaten at Cheltenham on trials day in January. On that occasion he finished ½ length ahead of Jarveys Plate and that one was able to lower the colours of the highly touted Reserve tank at Chepstow on Saturday.
Sent off just 3/1 from a mark of 130 on handicap debut in March, Buster Valentine failed to complete but was subsequently diagnosed with a lung infection so can have that run excused. Bred to be a chaser he looks the sort that could improve another 10-15 pounds over fences this season.
Envol Pierji bumped into some smart sorts in maiden hurdles last season. Finishing runner up to Dream Conti on debut at Naas in January he was off the track until finishing 4th of 24 in a hot maiden hurdle at the Fairyhouse Easter festival.
This race appears to lack depth and even without normal improvement, the still only 5-years-old Envol Pierji should be very difficult to beat here.
Two from two in Bumpers, Sebastopol was sent off just 15/8 in a maiden hurdle at Cheltenham last October but could only manage a highly respectable 4th. The winner of that race went on to finish second in the Supreme Novices Hurdle, while the runner up won the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown before injury ruled him out for the season.
Not seen again until January (on much slower ground), Sebastopol was sent off just 2/5 for a novice hurdle at Ayr but that race turned into a sprint finish and he finished a running on third.
While he is still very inexperienced, he should get a solid pace here and has ground to suit. It may be that he is not fully ready to go here having been off since January but he looks a certainty to win a handicap off a mark of 127.
It is never easy to win two bumpers but Enrilo managed that last season. In between those two wins was a very smart 4th in a listed bumper at Ascot in December and he rates a smart sort for novice hurdles at a track where his trainer has a fantastic record.
Not likely to be much of a price but he should take plenty of beating here.
- 12:15 Carlisle: Buster Valentine
- 13:30 Tramore: Envol Pierji
- 15:20 Wincanton: Sebastopol
- 16:55 Wincanton: Enrilo