Only three runners go to post for this race and a bit of a match could develop between them for today’s feature race at Uttoxeter with £6,330 up for grabs. Read on for our experts’ thoughts and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: CHAMPERS ON ICE as not far off being one of the top Novice Hurdlers last term and looks to have a good future over fences. He should be tough to beat making his debut here. Duelling Banjos was useful himself over Hurdles last year and looks every bit the chaser and this should boil down to a match between the two if over his spill last time.
1 Champers On Ice – Gelding by Robin Des Champs who has won a Point and Bumper before and was an impressive back-to-back winner of Novice Hurdles last term including a good effort at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day over 2m4f. Fine third in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novice’s Hurdle at the Festival in March, three lengths behind the unbeaten Unowhatimeanharry from the Harry Fry yard who has already won first time out this term, and looks to have a good future in this sphere. Big player.
2 Duelling Banjos – Another accomplished novice hurdler, winning twice over around 2m 5f, but rated 11lb lower than the favourite in that sphere. His trainer has always had him pegged as a three mile chaser, but took a heavy fall at the first in a decent Ascot race just over two weeks ago. Conditions and ground should suit but now faces question marks over his jumping and likely to be outclassed by Champers On Ice.
3 Have A Go Hero – Showed some ability on Bumper debut three years ago when fifth at Limerick but that was his only run under Rules of note. Pace-setter who has scored a couple successes in Points including one on soft ground but has been beaten in his last two when leading, the most recent coming in March when beaten by a useful sort who won a Bumper when trained by Willie Mullins at Punchestown. Looks pitched in here against much better quality opposition for his chase debut, particularly given his main rival Champers On Ice also won a Punchestown bumper and was third in a Grade 1 at the Festival.