The slower ground will no doubt play in part in this good little Handicap Hurdle with £4,549 going to the winner. Read on for our experts’ thoughts and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: MAC GREGORY wasn’t at his bet last time out but can return to winning ways here with conditions in his favour. Evan William’s remains in good form and he has an excellent chance today. Bendomingo can run the selection close if coping with the forecast slower ground having run so well over further last time out. Cochinillo can also get involved if ready to go after a year off.
1 Cochinillo – Hasn’t been seen since winning a Handicap Hurdle at Uttoxeter a year ago getting up to win by ¾ length on Heavy ground. Obviously had his problems having had a year off but has gone well fresh in the past and should stay this far. Unexposed and has a chance if ready to go.
2 Mac Gregory – Won here on first outing for the yard last year scoring by 1 ¼ lengths in a bumper over 1m7f. Fair form since including a good 2nd on his seasonal re-appearance here in October. 10th of 18 on Handicap debut at Cheltenham 17 days ago and is interesting here off this mark. Should get the trip and yard in form. Big player.
3 Mahler’s Star – Decent 3rd two runs back at Stratford when beaten by a good one from the Henry Oliver yard but poor last time out at Cheltenham only managing 12th of 15 and well behind that day. Can be ignored judged on that.
4 Bendomingo – Two runner-up efforts in his last 2 runs at Ffos Las and then at Exeter, improving to within 2 ½ lengths of the winner last time out. That came over 2m7f and will have stood him in good stead for this and has a good chance for his in-form trainer however all of his best runs have come on better ground than the forecast Gd/Sft.
5 Agincourt Reef – Previously trained by Gary Moore for whom he was largely consistent without winning. 3rd on new start for yard in a Handicap Hurdle at Southwell 13 days ago, going down by a neck. Might be able to land a blow here if putting his best foot forward but others look more persuasive.
6 Twycross Warrior – 6 runs for this yard since first outing last October and only fair form in each. Looks to have been set a stiff task by the Handicapper in this and wears a tongue-strap today. Best watched for now.
7 Jade’s Legend – Decent enough form over Fences when trained in France last year. First run for this yard at Fakenham last month and well beaten in 3rd. 50/1 and well behind in 6th on last start at Southwell, 8 lengths behind the re-opposing Agincourt Reef in 2nd. No reason to think she can reverse form with that one today and will probably need to come down in the weights to be seen to best effect. Hard to fancy here.
8 Get Home Now – Hasn’t won since winning a Handicap Hurdle at Market Rasen over 2 years ago and only 3-41 overall. Last two runs tempers enthusiasm for this and can be ruled out today.