Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 10:52 24/03/2015
After a couple of placed efforts at Carlisle, Surprise Vendor is all the rage for today's Class 4 John Smiths Handicap Hurdle, but Stuart Coltherd's nine-year-old was a full 14 lengths behind Frankie's Promise when in reciept of 5lb three starts back and the pair meet again today on identical marks.
A 6/1 chance for the race with Betway, Frankie's Promise won back-to-back novices this time last year, the latter of which was at today's venue. Unfortunately the Fruits Of Love gelding paid the price for those wins and was set a hefty opening mark by the assessor, so results have gone a bit wayward since then. Racing off a rating of 112 today, the mount of Lucy Alexander should give a much better account, and with conditions underfoot also in his favour, the likes of Surprise Vendor and Palm Grey will have to pull out all of the stops.
The last horse mentioned looks more at home on heavy ground and is yet to show the stamina for this type of trip, while Cruachan reterns to the scene of his only success having made a modest return to action at Kelso last month. Pistol was second off this mark at Newcastle in January and Total Assets would have claims on her best form, while Dusky Bob returns from a 437 day hiatus.