Bering Upsun won a chase off today’s mark last October and looks interesting back over hurdles but most of his form was recorded at around 2m on ground slower than good, so we can’t be sure he’ll be ideally suited by today’s conditions. Preference is for LASTOFTHECOSMICS, who came good over hurdles at Perth in July and was placed in higher-grade company on his latest appearance.
Little Saint will be a tough nut to crack if able to replicate this summer’s Uttoxeter form, while handicap debutant Pinnacle Peak has significant potential. However, the most obvious answer is MILLIE OF MAYO (nap), who is 2-2 since switched to handicaps and might still be improving.
Black Kraken reeled in Away At Dawn to gain a surprise win at Cartmel last month but Donald McCain’s 5yo may have gone off a bit too hard there and, now 8lb better off, can turn the tables with his old rival here. However, Huntingdon winner RHOSNEIGR got back on track with a fairly good effort at Market Rasen on his latest outing and might be too strong for them both.
This might go to habitual front-runner SHANROE STREET, who ran well at Cartmel last month after a break, remains on a workable mark and may be aided by first-time cheekpieces. Court Dreaming was a long way clear of the third when going close at Perth five weeks ago and is second choice but Nicky Henderson’s runner Jen’s Boy has finished second in both his chases this summer and should also feature.
It could be worth giving ROSE TO FAME another chance. She was a progressive novice last season and comes back after a wind operation following a disappointing reappearance run. Melody Of Scotland and For Three, who both act well round here, are obvious dangers.
Kymata posted a good effort when upped to 2m7f at Market Rasen last month and that form might be boosted if the winner, Millie Of Mayo, runs well in today’s 14:40 race but a chance is taken on DAVID JOHN. Kevin Hunter’s 9yo struggled on soft ground last time but ran well for a long way on good to soft at Cartmel in July and, now back on genuine good ground, might capitalise upon some help from the handicapper. Farm The Rock should also benefit from today’s return to a sound surface.
Return Ticket is the one to beat strictly on the ratings but LEAPAWAY made a fair impression behind a smart one on his latest completion at Newton Abbot when his jumping seemed to improve after a tentative start. Shantaluze can prove best of the remainder.
Nicky Henderson’s only previous bumper runner at this track was a winner and BALMUICK makes plenty of appeal on paper. Richard Johnson has a good strike-rate when riding for Micky Hammond and Get On John is feared most, ahead of Cochisee.
The Racing Post’s tips for Hexham today
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