A wide-open handicap where a case can be made for plenty, but the one to chance is Duc de Beauchene, who is making his seasonal reappearance for a yard that often target this meeting. He won a handicap at Plumpton last season and ran creditably on his next start at Sandown after. His latest run in a big field at Punchestown can be ignored, and he could have been laid out for this given connections, so he is worth monitoring in the market having undergone a wind operation since.
An open renewal of this cross-country event and it is Kingswell Theatre who makes the most appeal. He won the race two years ago from a 1lb lower mark and everything looks in place for a good run, having shaped well on return from six months off – and a second breathing operation – at Sedgefield last month. His absence to telling in the closing stages. This has likely been the plan for him and he should be spot on now.
Only four are set to go to post for this Arkle Trial, but it is a very interesting renewal, and Getaway Trump is strongly fancied to reverse the form with Al Dancer. The latter was a convincing winner of a novice chase over this C&D at the Showcase meeting last month, but he was likely very fit for that reappearance, whereas Getaway Trump left the impression he would definitely come on for the run. He tanked along before the lack of a run told, and he looks set to take high rank amongst the 2m novice chasers this season.
Another small field but another race with plenty of quality on show, and last season’s JLT winner Defi du Seuil is sure to be popular. However, he likely has bigger plans down the line – is entered in the King George at Kempton – and the drop back to 2m isn’t sure to suit, even in testing conditions. Therefore, it is Politologue who is taken to come out on top, his second-place finish to Altior in the Queen Mother Champion Chase last season is the best piece of form on offer, and his record fresh – in testing conditions – makes him a big player here.
A typically competitive renewal of the Greatwood Hurdle, so it could be worth going out on a limb and siding with Dame De Compagnie on her belated return to action. Admittedly, there is an element of risk involved, as she hasn’t been seen on the track for 577 days. However, she is potentially much better than this mark now entering handicaps, very much on the up winning a listed event at this course when last seen. Nicky Henderson has reported her to have worked well last weekend and there is enough juice in her price to make her a bet here.
An interesting Grade 2 where several are of interest, but the one that stands out is Scardura, who made a striking impression on debut for Neil Mulholland at Taunton last month. That wasn’t a strong event, but he was well backed to make a winning start, and could hardly have been more impressive, motoring away from his rivals to win by 16 lengths. He looks potentially smart and this race should reveal more.
Time Files By has a superb pedigree and looked an exciting prospect when winning a class 2 bumper under similar conditions over C&D three weeks ago, showing a good deal of speed as well as stamina, so has obvious claims. Legends Ryde improved again to make a winning return at Carlisle and is next best ahead of Everglow.
12:45 Duc de Beauchene – 7/2
13:15 Kingswell Theatre – 4/1
13:50 Getaway Trump – 6/4
14:25 Politologue – 6/4
15:00 Dame De Compagnie – 7/1
15:30 Scardura – 4/1
16:00 Time Files By – 10/11
* All odds correct at time of posting.