Evan Williams’ mare MEMPHIS BELL was nicely in command in the closing stages of a very similar race to this over course and distance 17 days ago and is taken to complete a hat-trick. Kendelu has also won his last two, but a bigger threat to the selection may come from Havana River – who was placed on both her summer outings. Mind Your Back was behind two subsequent winners when fourth last month after a lay-off and is next on the list.
It’s not easy to choose between ESTELLE MA BELLE, who ran to a fairly useful level on her hurdling debut for Willie Mullins last summer, and Rose Of Arcadia, who impressed in a Taunton bumper in March. However, the slender preference is for Paul Nicholls’ runner. Lady Of The Night went close on her hurdle debut and should also feature.
Lots Of Luck took well to chasing last season and has the potential to improve again this term, but confidence in him would be higher on slower ground and perhaps the answer might be CESAR DU GOUET. He started off for Laura Horsfall with two good efforts and remains very well handicapped on the pick of his form for Olly Murphy.
Captains Run ran well over C&D 17 days ago and is also considered, but he has to compete from 3lb out of the weights. Veiled Secret went close yesterday.
Only three runners, but they’re all class acts. FIDDLERONTHEROOF looked the real deal in winning last season’s Tolworth Hurdle and he could be anything over fences. With the benefit of chasing experience, Emitom may be the one he has to beat.
Milkwood impressed when winning a lesser event over C&D 17 days ago and is respected, but the pick is THEBANNERKINGREBEL (NAP). He was a very useful novice last season and could still have a lot more to offer.
High-class chaser Sceau Royal has raced only once over hurdles since 2017, but his handicap mark in this sphere ought to be workable. Remiluc is getting long in the tooth, however was an excellent third on his latest outing and, with a capable 10lb claimer enlisted, should not be underestimated.
Not many of these can be given the thumbs-up on their recent efforts, so this looks a good opportunity for VOCALISER to complete the hat-trick. Inevitably, he has taken a steep rise in the weights for his two wins, but even now is well treated on his old chase form.
A wind operation could have helped Elan De Balme and he remains of interest back on less testing ground. Meanwhile, Oxwich Bay is certainly capable of a bold show on his best recent form.
Nicky Henderson has always had a good record in bumpers and he’s operating at a 50% strike-rate in such races this season, therefore THE BOMBER LISTON is preferred. Second choice Westhill represents a stable in red-hot form, while a few others also have decent credentials.
Ordered Lives and AGENT SAONOIS represent stables that are doing very well in bumpers this term, while Seelotmorebusiness is another interesting newcomer. The vote goes to Agent Saonois, but the betting should help to firm up what’s expected. Getaweapon looks the clear pick of those with experience.
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