An interesting novice but there are doubts about all the leading contenders. Tremwedge needs to settle better, Topofthecotswolds has to prove his effectiveness back hurdling and Diamond River lacks experience. Despite the penalty, POLISH could prove good enough.
It would be no surprise to see Gumball revert to front-running tactics on his chasing debut and he could prove hard to beat but preference is for FUSIL RAFFLES, who can set out his stall as a chaser in this fascinating contest. Quick Grabim could well prove a threat as well.
Several of these are in good form but nothing appeals more than PENS MAN (nap), who can make amends for his Fontwell defeat. Viking Ruby and Ever So Much are just two of the rivals with realistic claims.
Those with recent form don’t look invincible and there are three from leading stables that could come good. Aheadfullofdreams and Whiskey Moon are two of them but perhaps DRUMREAGH can show more in a tongue-strap.
Mrs Miggins has taken well to chasing this season but there were only two other finishers in the race she won at Southwell three weeks ago and she’ll probably need to improve again here. Lillington bounced back to form and won when last in action but it’s hard to predict whether he will sustain his revival. Perhaps the answer might be HENRIETTA BELL, who made an encouraging start to her chasing career this summer and remains well handicapped on some of her best hurdling form.
The progressive Tel’art and the classy Dream Berry are likely contenders but TEA CLIPPER can return to action with a win.
Good cases can be made for all six mares but top of the list is BLACK TULIP, who ran a big race from the front before succumbing to a useful rival in a Warwick novice chase in March and looks well treated now back in a handicap. Last month’s C&D winner Simply Loveleh may provide the main threat
Tierra Verde won off today’s mark when last in action and it will be interesting to see how she fares after her long absence but this might go to ROCK ON TIGER, who was second in a C&D novice here in July and has plenty of scope for progress in handicaps. Rob Royal made a pleasing seasonal/handicap debut when second over C&D this month and is next on the list.
The Racing Post’s tips for Uttoxeter on Friday
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