Quite a few of these look plausible in an intriguing bumper. Glenlivet went off favourite on his debut just over a year ago and may do so again after a breathing operation. He merits plenty of respect but at the likely prices narrow preference is for CASTLEDHEM, who ran into a useful horse first time out and is another returning from wind surgery. The market may be revealing in terms of the chances of several interesting newcomers.
The least exposed of these on the Flat was Nevendon, and he has some similarities to Allmankind, who did so well in these colours for the Skeltons in juvenile hurdles last season. It would be no surprise if he were to make a winning start over obstacles, but OPINE, who also came from Michael Bell on the Flat, shaped nicely at Huntingdon and gets the verdict.
A competitive race of its type, likely to throw up future winners. Among several unexposed runners is HUNTSMANS JOG, who returns to hurdling for a new stable after two wins in points early in the year; he gives the impression he’ll stay well, and his handicap mark could underestimate him. Certainly Red shaped well at Fontwell and is second choice, while King Cool, Sandy Boy and Big Penny are three others capable of making their presence felt.
Most of the runners have something to prove on one count or another but Dan Skelton’s ACCORDINGTOGINO ended last season with a 3m hurdle win and looks on a workable mark back in a handicap on his chase debut. He gets the vote ahead of Mercian Knight, who was also successful over a staying trip over hurdles and should have a future at this new discipline. Gleno is 0-6 over fences but he’s well treated on his best form in this sphere and needs watching in the market on his first run after wind surgery.
While several of these have shown plenty of ability, the Nicholls-trained hurdling newcomer Threeunderthrufive is the only one who has not also blotted his copybook. However, preference is nevertheless for TIME TO MOVE ON to defy a near two-year absence, given that he looked set for high rank on his intitial forays in bumpers. Guetapan Collonges is a well-bred newcomer for JP McManus.
This looks the warmer of the two divisions of the maiden hurdle and several useful prospects take part, including three horses who were unbeaten in bumpers. The most visually arresting performance of those came from BEAR GHYLLS, and with his form already having been given a boost, he’s taken to make a winning hurdling debut. Make Me A Believer and Red Rookie are much respected, and with experience on his side Premiumaccess should be thereabouts as well.
A wide-open mares’ handicap featuring a mixture of progressive types and weight droppers. SHANTUNG falls into the second category and is worth chancing back at the scene of her only success to date. A long list of possible dangers is headed by the Warwick scorer Outonpatrol and also includes Hawthorn Cottage, Lily The Pink, Dinos Benefit and Mystic Dreamer.
Desque De L’Isle ended last season with a good second behind a major improver at Taunton and is a big player if he can pick up where he left off. Operatic Export won back-to-back novice hurdles last month and is respected back in a handicap on her chase debut, while there are several other chase newcomers to keep an eye on including Episode. However, the vote goes to GO AS YOU PLEASE (nap), who has been progressive in his four runs over fences and put in a smooth display when justifying favouritism at Warwick last time.
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