Author: Tony MacDonald
Published: 09:09 21/02/2014
Trainer Nick Williams has a promising chaser in The Italian Yob who can bounce back from disappointment at Cheltenham to score in the Star Sports Festival Preview Evening Novices' Limited Handicap Chase at 4.20 Exeter today.
The six year old was a winner at this course over the smaller obstacles on heavy ground, so similar conditions underfoot today are not a concern and odds of 4/1 with Bet365, Betvictor and Paddy Power look like value. The Italian Yob was runner-up in both attempts (2m1f) over fences at this venue before going on to score over an extra 3f at Sandown where he jumped fluently and had plenty in the tank when drawing 2 and a quarter lengths clear of Roger Beantown. The selection looked open to futher progress, but had excuses for being pulled up when last seen going off as favourite at Cheltenham having burst a blood vessel.
There are a few lively contenders for the tip to contend with including market leader Saroque who won over a shorter trip at Sandown for the in-form Venetia Williams, while the Paul Nicholls-trained Wilton Milan's last three runs have ended in disappointment. The biggest threat could potentially be Dare To Endevour who showed good stamina to win well over 3m at Huntingdon in a first attempt over fences, although shouldering an extra 12lb for that success today is quite a burdon.
The Italian Yob is clearly effective at Exeter and should be fully recovered, so is taken to put in another strong run at his favoured course.
The Italian Yob - 4/1 (bet365, Betvictor, Paddy Power)