Ten horses go to post for this open Class 3 handicap chase with a few bringing good form to the table for £9,495 first prize on offer. Read on for our expert’s thoughts and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: Foundation Man has been in the form of his life recently and he should go well again under his promising claimer who has ridden him to three wins this time. He looks slightly vulnerable though from his current mark and MILGEN BAY may be able to capitalize on that and get back to winning ways after being pulled up in the Grand Sefton last time. He was an impressive all the way winner at Fontwell before that over further in a similar race to this and he can go well again here if ridden prominently by Thomas Garner. The Italian Yob should also go well from his current mark and is not discounted lightly.
1 Foundation Man – Been in fine form for this rider this Autumn with three wins, including landing back to back successes up to 2m6f on his last two starts (Domtaline second). Up 4lb for those wins and tends to make the running, he is clearly in good heart and likely to go well again under his promising claimer with trip/ground to suit but may be vulnerable from top weight. Yard also run Lost Legend. Place claims.
2 Lost Legend – On a sliding mark since his last win at Bangor last Autumn and has been contesting in better company since without winning. Has won off a similar mark before but has been on a losing streak for a while now and this race is a strong one for the grade. Should be suited by the conditions but hard to see him getting involved on current form. Yard also run Foundation Man.
3 Authorized Too – Been in good form this year with two hurdles wins at Plumpton (Heavy) and Worcester (Good) up to 2m before landing a maiden chase success at Lingfield (Good/Firm) two starts ago. Struggled in better company at Newbury last month when only mid-division in a twelve runner event and needs to bounce back in this now upped in trip from a 2lb higher mark than his last win. Best watched for now.
4 The Italian Yob – Third of seven in this race last year and 3lb lower for this year’s renewal. Hasn’t won in seven runs since scoring off a mark of 117 last October and 4lb higher than his last win today. Didn’t run too badly two starts ago at Exeter (Soft) upped to 3m and struggled with the fences at Aintree (Good/Soft) on his last start when only seventh behind As De Mee in the Grand Sefton. Looks a quirky customer judged on his form towards the end of last season but looks set for a big run from this mark and should go well in this. Claims.
5 Milgen Bay – Pulled up in the Grand Sefton at Aintree (Good/Soft) won by As De Mee twenty five days ago but won from the front when landing a four runner event over 2m5f at Fontwell before that. Should be suited by the conditions in this and very interesting from a 5lb higher mark than that win over further. Won on his only start at this course and big player on these terms. Yard in good form
6 Dartford Warbler – Five times winner over hurdles up to this trip and won his first race over the larger obstacles at Market Rasen (Soft) in a similar race over 2m5f last November. 7lb higher than that win and fair form since including three starts over hurdles this term. Saves his best form for fences and not discounted on his best hurdling form.
7 Domtaline – Been in consistent form this year in and around this grade with one win at Stratford (Good) in September in slightly weaker company. Runner up behind Foundation Man on his last start at Doncaster (Good) seventeen days ago and better off with that rival now. Should run well again but strike rate isn’t great for win so consistent and hard to fancy for win purposes in this. Held by the selection on current form.
8 Crickel Wood – Hurdles winner twice in France and scored on his fourth start on these shore last November at Warwick (Good/Soft) over 2m in lesser company. Lightly-raced since and only 2lb higher for that win but has struggled in chases the last twice including over this trip at Southwell (Good/Soft) twenty nine days ago. Plenty to prove now.
9 Oliver’s Hill – Twice a winner over fences this Autumn albeit in lesser company and beat a sole rival at Leicester over this trip three weeks ago. Only 1lb in this and should go well but this is tougher and best watched unless the money comes for him.
10 Kitegen – 10-y-o now and sole chase win came in this grade at Kempton two years ago. Returned from a six month break to finish runner up at Ludlow (Good) in April and has another absence of eight months to overcome today. Trip fine but ground a worry given his best form has come on better ground and others preferred.