Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 10:53 21/10/2014
The beginners chase at 3.10 Exeter could end up being a three-way battle at the finish with principal dangers Far West, Puffin Billy and Dunraven Storm expected to prove far too strong for the remaining six runners. Paul Nicholls' market leader certainly has the potential to become a decent chaser, but odds of 6/4 look short enough to swerve Far West in favour of a horse with a similar profile.
Like Far West, Puffin Billy enjoyed a bright start to National Hunt racing with four wins on the bounce in 2012. The mount of Leighton Aspell then found one too good in a listed contest on heavy ground at Exeter before being thrown in at the deep end in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. An unsuccessful crack at a longer trip followed before the bay gelding ran into some classy performers in a listed Newbury hurdle when last seen.
Puffin Billy returns from a lenghty spell on the sidelines and can be backed at 2/1 with Coral who will return your stake as a free bet if your horse falls. The selection is expected to take well to chasing and on the basis of previous performances should give Far West plenty to think about in the run in.
Dunraven Storm is a good hurdler on his day, but was well held when last seen at Aintree and is therfore overlooked, while Surprise Us and The Cat's Away have a fitness advantage over some of their rivals, but look to be well out of their depth.