Precious Ground can hit the frame at Exeter under James Best
3.05pm Exeter – Precious Ground, 1pt each way at 15/2
Exeter is a racecourse which rarely fails to deliver a good jumping card and today is no different with six decent and competitive races scheduled this afternoon. The 3.05pm Weatherbys Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide Handicap Hurdle over two miles and seven furlongs has ten runners going to post on the prescribed soft ground and plenty are in with chances including the Kevin Bishop trained PRECIOUS GROUND has very good each way claims at the bottom of the handicap weights.
The six-year-old has finished fifth and third on his last two starts and has been comprehensively beaten on both occasions at Taunton and around here at Exeter last time out. In spite of that below par run he was still in the frame in the twelve runner field and from seven runs at the track, he has won once and been placed three times, so the course form edge is certainly a big factor to his chance.
James Best is a very good young jockey and the horse will only carry ten stone and five pounds on today’s testing ground, with the next rival in the handicap eleven pounds higher up the weights. So if he can bounce back and run up to his handicap mark of 93, there’s every chance he will be involved in the finish.
In terms of potential dangers there are several. The Venetia Williams trained Kap Jazz has had a busy season so far with six runs under his belt but he could still be improving and a return to hurdles after a good chase run at Huntingdon last time out reads well for a versatile horse. Tea Time Fred had excused the last couple of runs and was a promising staying last season. Sue Gardner’s seven-year-old has a low mark of 110 to exploit if able to bounce back to form.
At the prices on offer this morning Precious Ground makes the best appeal on paper in a race that, while competitive in nature, lacks a lot of depth.
3.05pm Exeter – Precious Ground, 1pt each way at 15/2 (8.50) Coral
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