Here’s Bingo attracted support at long odds at Exeter last time and ran well to finish third in a strong race. That effort behind a pair well out of the ordinary for the grade (second has since won well) marked him down as one to note, and he looks sure to go close if running to a similar level. Two Sams landed a gamble on his first start for the Jeremy Scott stable at Plumpton last month and is an obvious threat.
Christmas In April contested a competitive event on his reappearance at Chepstow in October and emerged with credit in second as he beat all bar an unexposed sort. That rival followed up on his next start, and, with the third also successful since, it appeals as being a strong piece of form. The Colin Tizzard yard is going well at present and Christmas In April is entitled to come on for his reappearance, so a bold bid is expected.
It’s difficult to look beyond Gelboe de Chanay, who was an impressive, wide-margin winner of her only start in France and has joined a leading yard since being purchased by J.P McManus. Philip Hobbs has his string in fine form and looks to have found his exciting recruit an excellent opportunity. Zamani was an encouraging third on his hurdling debut and is expected to chase the selection home.
Diplomate Sivola may have needed the run on his return at Ascot last month and is expected to prove a different proposition with the benefit of that outing under his belt. He was successful twice last season but produced his best effort in defeat, when pushing a well-handicapped rival close at Taunton. He will go close if running to a similar level. Quarenta was progressive last season and is considered the main threat in this trappy three-runner event.
Eyes Right showed ability in bumpers, winning once and twice hitting the frame in five starts, and she produced a promising effort on her hurdling debut at Newbury last month, keeping on nicely to finish a never-threatening fourth behind some useful prospects. She is open to plenty of improvement and can get off the mark over hurdles in this weaker event.
Mortens Leam was an emphatic winner of this race last year from a 3lb lower mark and looks to hold sound claims of repeating the dose. Admittedly, he hasn’t been at his best in two starts this season, but he should be much sharper with those outings under his belt and should be taking advantage of his much-reduced mark before too long. Sonoftheking looks most likely to profit should Mortens Leam fail to meet expectations.
This is a race lacking depth, so it looks an ideal opportunity for the in-form Lochinver. The five-year-old opened his account at Stratford in October and ran to a similar level when third off this mark at Huntingdon last month. He shaped as if still in good form on that occasion and has fewer questions to answer than many of his rivals in the finale.
12:30 Here’s Bingo – 13/2
13:00 Christmas In April – 6/4
13:30 Gelboe De Chanay – 1/4
14:00 Diplomate Sivola – 5/4
14:30 Eyes Right – 5/4
15:00 Mortens Leam – 10/3
15:30 Lochinver – 5/2
* All odds correct at time of posting.