This is a low-grade handicap chase but The Manuscript remains fairly unexposed over fences with only five chase starts. While he was disappointing on his last start at Lingfield, the winner blew the field apart that day and has won easily since so I am keen to forgive The Manuscript on that run considering he had run really well here on his penultimate start over this trip.
He was only beaten a length and a half that day and is on the same mark here. His chase win came off just a two-pound lower mark and with Jonjo O’ Neill Jr on board, The Manuscript appears to have decent each-way claims in an open contest.
This looks a very tricky novice hurdle with Nightboattoclyro bringing winning form over hurdles to the table but I think that form might be a little weak and he has to concede a penalty here to some types with a bit of potential.
I think it could be worth chancing Mount Batur each way. He was fourth in a useful bumper on debut and was off the track prior to his hurdles debut at Ascot last November. On first look, his effort that day was disappointing but the race has worked out really well. The second was second to the hugely exciting The Big Breakaway on his next start, the third was impressive when he won his next start at Kempton, the sixth won at Uttoxeter, the eighth won at Leicester and the 12th won at Hereford.
There is every chance that Mount Batur will improve plenty for the run at Ascot after his absence from the track and if doing so, might just play a part in this race at a price.
A competitive handicap hurdle to close the card but Woulduadamandeveit looks to have decent claims of finally getting off the mark. A very decent bumper performer, he was placed at Listed level twice at that discipline but his hurdles career has been disappointing to date.
He runs here off a mark of 102 and there were enough signs of life last time at Warwick, when finishing fifth, to suggest that he could finally be about to deliver on the promise of his bumper runs. The booking of Sean Houlihan to claim three pounds off looks a positive too.
Frank Hickey’s Monday Trixie:
*All prices correct at time of posting