This looks a good opportunity for Zoffee to make a winning chasing debut. He’s only a four-year-old so he’s getting a lot of weight off the older horses.
Usually you’re thinking a four-year-old might struggle for know-how in this type of race and obviously this is his chasing debut but, with everything we’ve seen from him over hurdles and on the flat, he’s had plenty of experience in those spheres.
The Fred Winter was the only disappointing showing of his juvenile campaign last year. He’s had a spin on the flat to prepare for this where he just shaped like he’s still got all of his old ability and I like the fact he’s probably going to make the running.
Richard Johnson has been positive every time he’s ridden him and he’s a very straightforward horse in that he just travels with zest and jumps well – over hurdles at least. I think Zoffee has a really good chance in this.
This is an open contest but I thought Jacamar with the booking of Paddy Brennan was significant. He’s dropped to a mark of 119 now and you look at some of his form from last winter and that looks quite lenient.
He’s had two starts this season and been beaten both times but on the first occasion he was running really, really well at Newton Abbot when he basically just got barged out late on in the race and was disqualified run out at that point.
It wasn’t his fault he was just checked by another horse at the wrong time so, I thought that was really encouraging. The Fontwell run was on good to firm ground and I don’t think that’s really his bag.
The softer ground will suit and Paddy Brennan is the cherry on top, really.
I think this is a race where a few of them have a little bit to prove, not least Denmead who is a horse who has had physical problems in the past.
But, the one I like is Bootlegger for Neil Mulholland who is very much among the winners. He’s got a couple of bits of form over the hurdles that will make him really interesting from a mark of 125 but he’s not yet fired on all cylinders this season.
He’s had two starts this season but one was on debut for Neil when he was probably just having a sigther and the other was for his previous yard in Ireland. But he’s the type to be better over fences, he’s down in grade, he’s got Harry Cobden on board which I like.
I hope Cobden will be positive on Bootlegger and it’s just a race I thought was prime for something to come through and improve past a couple of these horses and Bootlegger was the one I fell on for an in-form yard and an eye-catching jockey booking.
Ben Fearnley’s tips for Warwick on Thursday
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