Fairly useful Flat-racer Dante’s View made a good start to his hurdling career when third at Southwell two weeks ago, while Filou Des Issards can also go very well if his soft-ground winter exploits can be transferred to today’s quicker conditions. However, the most persuasive piece of hurdling form belongs to EYE OF AN EAGLE, who ran well for a long way when fourth in a good-quality contest at Wincanton last autumn.
Jen’s Boy bumped into one at Southwell and has solid claims on the back of that effort, though he wouldn’t appreciate ground softer than good. Therefore, with rain about, preference is for the winning pointer EASYRUN DE VASSY, who could leave his hurdle form behind now he is sent over fences.
It seems very likely that Gateway To Europe will be on the premises, while Jacamar looked set to play a part in the finish before his premature exit at Newton Abbot two weeks ago. However, dual C&D winner CHAPMANSHYPE (nap) didn’t run badly at Southwell last month after a layoff and can resume the excellent progress he made in the early part of last season. One potential fly in the ointment is Tree Of Liberty, who was out of form during a light campaign for his new stable last season but returns from a break (wind op) and is on an attractive mark.
It might pay to give another chance to CARNTOP, who disappointed at Southwell 19 days ago but ran well in a competitive race there two starts back and also gave a good account at Royal Ascot before that. Ferrobin has dropped to a very dangerous mark and is feared but he finished rather weakly at Market Rasen three weeks ago and needs to respond well to the added headgear here. Raven’s Tower hasn’t won for ages but he ran well at Uttoxeter last month and is next on the list.
Arthur’s Sixpence has already won two chases this summer and still has low mileage but slight preference is for C&D winner MASTER BURBIDGE, who ran well last month after a break and remains on a workable mark. Darebin has a bit more to prove but usually contests stronger races than this and will be a danger to all if back on song.
A chance is taken on FUME, who makes his handicap debut over hurdles on the back of some encouraging Flat efforts. Nachi Falls could be the main threat if following one good run with another.
Molliana and Love The Well have solid form claims but neither would appreciate softening ground, so keep an eye on the weather. Perhaps blinkers can revitalise REDEMPTORIST, who has hinted at winning potential. The very well-bred China Flower is an interesting handicap debutante.
Gold Mountain was placed twice after making the running over 2m5f at Newton Abbot last month and is respected but he faces likely competition for the lead over a shorter trip here and an interesting alternative is AULD SOD. The 7yo was 0-20 over jumps when based with Flat-oriented trainers but now makes his debut for a top National Hunt stable and has slipped to an attractive mark. Hold Me Tight and Wisecracker can also feature.
In what looks an interesting mares’ bumper the suggestion is BUTTSBURY LADY, who has a good pedigree and got the job done in pretty good style at Uttoxeter last month. Kayarnah, Pepite De Belle and Some Might Say have shown significant ability too, while Nellie Kernow and Aurelia Or are just two of the newcomers with good credentials on paper.
The Racing Post’s best bets at Fontwell today
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