Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 11:32 19/01/2015
Exeter gets the go-ahead after passing a late inspection this morning and Queen Of The Stage looks the best bet on the card at best odds 11/4 with Betway. The Nick Williams-trained 5-year-old heads betting for the Super Sunday 8th February Mares' Handicap Hurdle after a brace of wins before Christmas and certainly sets the standard for the 2 mile, 1 furlong test on her handicap bow.
The King's Theatre mare had posted only modest form at best in bumpers, but looked a much better proposition over hurdles when fourth at Worcester in June and had certainly got the hang of jumping at the second attempt to land a Ludlow maiden in November. Queen Of The Stage followed up on her debut for this handler at today's venue (2m3f), winning from a field of 17 runners on heavy ground under today's rider. Lizzie Kelly takes 7lb off the selection's opening mark today and a slight drop back in trip on soft ground should suit the horse down to the ground.
Dear Darling hasn't shown much under rules to date, but may appreciate what looks a lenient opening mark, while the main danger could come from Miss Sassypants who still looks relatively exposed following a 5lb rise for winning at Wincanton last time out. Kozmina Bay may struggle to cope with an 8lb rise for winning well at Ffos Las and with the remainder having quite a bit to find, Queen Of The Stage is a confident selection to see off the field.