Good ground for today’s card at Exeter and William Hill are offering three places on the opening seven-runner conditional jockey’s hurdle.
San Augustin heads the market under Cameron Iles, who is yet to ride a winner but can claim 10lbs off the back of Tom Lacey’s six-year-old, who mixes chasing with hurdling.
He looks sure to go close, but THE COMPOSEUR won this corresponding race two years ago and looks primed to run a very good race. The each-way recommendation is 2lbs lower in the weights this afternoon, is ridden by an experienced claimer and the form of his recent second at Huntingdon was given a boost when the winner – Presenting Yeats – followed up here. Jonjo O’Neill’s 7-y-old was fitted with cheekpieces for the first time at Huntingdon, and the headgear is reapplied today.
Dans Chosen had little to beat at Fakenham last time but did so with the minimum of fuss, and the handicapper has not overreacted with just a 3lbs rise for a 78L success. He has not been lost on the layers, however, and this looks like a much more competitive heat.
REPRESENTING BOB “represents” the yard of Jamie Snowden, who landed the Paddy Power Gold Cup at the weekend with Ga Law and this inmate ran well when runner-up to Tea For Free at Uttoxeter last time. The winner scored again from a 10lbs higher mark on Saturday, and it is unlikely that the each-way selection will bump into another so well-handicapped rival this afternoon.
Representing Bob finished just half a length in front of Midnight Glance at the Staffordshire track, but this stiffer track should suit the selection. One concern he did jump slightly to his left at Uttoxeter, and his only previous start going right-handed was a moderate one.
I am looking forward to the chase debut of Royal Lake, who is bred to come into his own over the larger obstacles, and it was great to see Oliver Sherwood have a winner at Cheltenham on Saturday. A market move for Royal Lake would be worth noting.
Only four go to post for the novices’ limited handicap chase over three miles, and Masters Legacy is only 4lbs higher than when scoring over C&D on Haldon Gold Cup day earlier in the month. That was a terrific effort, and he has rightly been put in as market leader.
Mr Glass has had his wind operated on since running below par at Chepstow in the spring, but Paul Nicholls has always considered him a potentially smart chaser. I don’t expect him to be rated in the mid-120s for long over fences.
However, I am prepared to give YOUNG BUTLER another chance after he ran no race on his chase debut at Chepstow last month. That run was over a trip just shy of two-and-a-half miles, and he was taken off his feet. This extended three miles is likely to see him in a better light - he has been dropped a couple of pounds in the weights and is fitted with cheekpieces for the first time. He was backed as if defeat was out of the question at Chepstow. It will be interesting if his astute connections try and recoup losses in this fascinating race.
SAMATIAN looked in need of a step up in trip when a staying on third at Stratford last time, and he gets the vote stepped up to an extended two-and-a-half miles with Kai Lenihan taking off a valuable 10lbs. The stables conditional rode a winner for the yard at the last meeting here earlier in the month, and I hope to see him follow up from the foot of the weights.
The selection had scored at Stratford on his penultimate start from a 4lbs lower mark, and I felt the ground was slower – winning times concur – when Samatian finished third last time. The ground is likely to be faster this afternoon which I think will suit the five-year-old.
* Betting odds correct at the time of publication. All odds are subject to changes.
Bet £10 Get £40 in free bets (Mobile Only)