The Virgin Bet Devon National Handicap Chase at Exeter on Friday afternoon has attracted a competitive field of 13 runners for the three mile six and a half furlong marathon. We will provide a Horse Racing tip, preview and prediction for the Class 3 stamina test which gets underway at 3.50pm.
We will also supply a Horse Racing tip for the 1.00pm race at the Devon racecourse, a two mile and half a furlong handicap hurdle. While over at Warwick our third horse Racing tip comes in the 3m mares’ handicap chase at 3.05pm.
“Tip of the Day” – Credo – 1.00pm Exeter
A winner over today’s course and distance earlier this month, Anthony Honeyball’s improving mare is fancied to end the winning run of favourite Bellatrixsa in receipt of 16lb.
Credo (NAP) – 1.00pm Exeter
Venetia Williams’ grey Bellatrixsa has hit a rich vein of form of late, winning races at Ludlow and Hereford already this month. The hat-trick-seeking mare has a 7lb penalty to carry for her most recent victory. But Harry Bannister’s mount may struggle to give plenty of weight to the Anthony Honeyball-trained Credo, especially racing over a distance some way short of what she has been used to.
After winning both Bumper starts last year, Credo has taken a while to find her form over hurdles before undergoing a wind op at Christmas, since when the daughter of Fame And Glory has opened her account over the smaller obstacles with a comfortable victory over today’s course and distance three weeks ago.
The mount of Aidan Coleman looks well treated on an opening handicap mark of 112 and is taken to end the winning run of the favourite in receipt of 16lb.
Midnightreferendum (Next Best) – 3.05pm Warwick
Only six runners for this mares’ handicap chase but with the exception of bottom weight Glorious Lady, who will be racing from a stone out of the handicap, all can be given a chance, the most obvious being the hat-trick-seeking Eleanor Bob.
Venetia Williams’ charge may have been flattered by those two victories however and the mount of Charlie Deutsch meets last October’s conqueror Legends Ryde on much worse terms on this occasion. Farne would have a chance if ignoring a poor effort at Chepstow last month. But it is top weight Midnightreferendum who makes most appeal in the hands of jockey Tom Cannon.
The Alan King-trained mare has won just one of her nine starts over fences. But the daughter of Midnight Legend has put up some good performances in defeat, especially when racing over today’s trip of three miles.
The selection now runs off her lowest mark since winning over fences at Fontwell in November 2020 and is fancied to concede the weight to her five rivals with conditions to suit.
The Late Legend (Longshot) – 3.50pm Exeter
Samuel Jackson, racing off the same mark of 123 as when successful in this marathon 12 months ago, has to have a good chance of recording back-to-back victories, especially following a creditable run in Lingfield’s Surrey National last time behind subsequent Haydock Grand National Trial winner The Galloping Bear.
Snuff Box and Pemberley are another couple who have to be on the short list for this stamina test. But at a double-figure price and with a featherweight to carry, the Tom Weston-trained The Late Legend makes plenty of each-way appeal.
The nine-year-old has finished first or second in nine of his fifteen runs over fences, including five victories, and is at his best over this kind of marathon trip. Second over today’s course and distance last December in a similar contest, when the Midnight Legend gelding looked the most likely winner until jumping the second-last fence.
The mount of 7lb claiming amateur Mr Luke Scott possibly hit the front too soon on that occasion. With only 9st 9lb to carry, including his rider’s allowance, The Late Legend is expected to see out the race better with a featherweight to carry.
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