A good contest on show in this 0-130 Handicap with Nine going to post with £12,996 up for grabs. Read on for our experts’ thoughts and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: Long Lunch can get involved if handling the trip and he is a good jumper on his day. Brownville on the other hand needs to improve the jumping he displayed at Warwick last time out but if able to do so will be a real danger but a chance is taken on ROYAL MILAN. He won a Novice Hurdle in March and jumped slickly that day bolting-up by 14 lengths. He can be forgiven his Chase debut when brought down at the first and had been well-schooled prior to that and he can play a major role here. Danimix is on a good mark and will find this easier than at Cheltenham.
1 Mont Royale – Hurricane Run Gelding who has been in fair form this year, winning at Worcester in September in Handicap Chase and always doing enough to win by 1 ¼ lengths. Well beaten by Roman Flight when only fifth of 7 at Stratford in October and becoming a bit frustrating. Others look to have better chances here with a yard a bit quiet at present.
2 Long Lunch – Won back-to-back races in easy fashion at Chepstow and then Warwick earlier this Spring and respectable in two runs after that. Fell two-out when in the process of running a decent race at Cheltenham last time out. Slight drop in Grade today and is 1l lower for this, has to prove his stamina at this trip but has each-way claims if at his best.
3 By The Boardwalk – Notched his fourth Chase win at Market Rasen in October, staying on well to win by 1 ½ lengths from Cusheen Bridge from Charles Pogson’s yard. Decent second last time out at Ludlow, only going down by two lengths when he didn’t get a clear run. Only 1lb higher here and should make a good fist of it although he doesn’t always find much at the business end and could prove vulnerable to an improver here.
4 Royal Milan – Won a five-runner Novice Hurdle at Catterick in March, doing it comfortably by 14 lengths and jumping well. Brought down at the first fence last time out at Ascot on Chase debut 16 days ago and hard to know what he could have achieved in that. If over his tumble he could go well and is dangerous to discount here.
5 Danimix – Previously trained by Peter Bowen and won back-to-back Handicap Chases with ease last Autumn. Has had three starts for current yard and has been well held in each of his races, including at Cheltenham last time when sporting first-time blinkers. This easier and he is on a potentially decent mark so has a chance with the yard in good form.
6 Goohar – Consistent for this yard having finished placed in five of his last eight starts. Has won over Hurdles before and decent second from this mark at Huntingdon 16 days ago when only going down by ½ length. Steps up in trip today and has a good chance if putting his best foot forward but strike-rate off-putting and has not gone beyond 2m4f before.
7 Still Believing – Has won twice over Hurdles and won a Handicap Chase here in January, beating favourite Take The Mick from the Ian Cobb yard by a neck. Likes it around here with three career wins including two Handicap Hurdles but well beaten here last month off this mark and looks up against it again.
8 Brownville – Won a decent 3m Chase at Uttoxeter in April but hasn’t really progressed since then in three runs. Well beaten by Gary Moore’s Vikekhal in a 3-runner affair at Warwick a month ago and should find this more to his liking off his current mark. Needs to brush up on his jumping but will be a live-threat to all if getting it right this time.
9 Buttergrove King – Won back-to-back Handicap Chases at Worcester and then here last Autumn and has been in fair form until his last two runs. The latest was a disappointing 12th of 17 at Chepstow in a 0-120 race over 2m7f. Hard to fancy on current form.