IN SUMMARY: THUNDERING HOME (7/1 Each Way) has superb form around Exeter which may just tip the balance in his favour despite some poor runs of late. He has been tumbling down the weights and is thrown in at his best, and ought to give us a good each way run for our money.
1 SARTORIAL ELEGANCE – Jockey Paul O’Brien has plenty of winners to his name including two here. Sadly the horse is still a maiden after three races over hurdles but ran well enough last time on heavy going when third to Overtown Express here over further when seeming to weaken. Top weight and a rating of 109 seems a little harsh but he is only five and may improve.
2 COMTE D’ANJOU – Won a bumper here in 2012 but yet to bother the judge since. Best run when second to Withy Mills here in a novice hurdle in March 2014 and lightly raced since – pulled up in last two outings over further and may find things happen too quickly for him today.
3 BLADOUN – Potentially well handicapped having run well (but not won) off of considerably higher marks. Dropped eight pounds in his last three runs he must have a good chance here if David Pipe can just rekindle some interest from the eight year old with the excellent Michael Heard on board he must have a rock solid each way chance today.
4 THUNDERING HOME – The only course and distance winner in the field he scored here in November 2014 off exactly the same handicap rating. Has won a total of nine races with the most recent a massive thirteen pounds higher than today though that was over a year ago and his last eight runs or so have been below par. Has won or placed five times form six visits here which is just about enough to sway things and make him the each way suggestion.
5 DAINTY DIVA – Seems to go best fresh judged on his win at Fontwell over further in October after a summer off. May find this comes a bit too soon even after a month plus away and has been seriously struggling since his mark was raised to over a hundred.
6 NORSE LIGHT – Has form that gives him the beating of Dainty Diva even at the revised weights and is one of the more consistent entries. So far this season he has a win two seconds and a fourth in his last four races and runs off the same mark as when well beaten by Clyne last time out. His jockey lacks experience in comparison to some which is off putting, but he could well run in to a place.
7 STILL TOGETHER – An intriguing option dropped back in trip and wearing cheek pieces, and with some acceptable form in lesser races (maidens). May well try to make the running to draw out the finishing speed of the others but will surely find the minimum trip way too short unless tis is part of an unknown plan?
8 FORT CARSON – No evident jockey booking as we write is a concern but he has some form that would give him a shout. Still without a win after twenty races, but makes his debut for his new yard (Neil King) here and may well improve but will that be enough.
9 MOTHER MELDRUM – Everything but the kitchen sink thrown at him here with a first time tongue tie and cheek pieces to keep him interested and on the straight and narrow. Hasn’t looked remotely interested in her last few races and they will need to work miracles to get her involved.
10 MILAN OF CRYSTAL – His win last time out was only in a seller and this is a better class of contest so he may well struggle. He jumped pretty sketchily that day which is why we cannot back him, though he could run well despite the rise in class for his new connections.
11 TWYFORD – Dropped six pounds since his last race over hurdles back in 2013 and been disappointing over fences so far, falling at Worcester and unseating Robert Dunne at Wincanton. Dare we assume the return to hurdles is a confidence booster for a horse with just the two races under rules in close to three years in which case we cannot possibly back him.
myracing Forecast Prices: 4/1 Still Together, 5/1 Norse Light, 13/2 Fort Carson, Sartorial Elegance, 7/1 Thundering Home, 10/1 Bladoun, Milan Of Crystal, 12/1 Comte D’Anjou, 16/1 Dainty Diva, 20/1 Mother Meldrum, 33/1 Twyford.