A competitive looking middle distance chase for a prize of £7,798. Read on for expert analysis and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: ORBASA can take advantage of a tumbling mark and take this for Paul Nicholls, this looks an open race however and there is plenty of competition in the shape of 2015 winner Gentleman Jon and the lightly raced Roll The Dough for champion jockey Richard Johnson.
1 BISHOPS COURT – Failed in his attempt for a five-timer when trailing in last on his final start of the season but had been extremely progressive before that blip and if forgiving one run he would have to be right at the top of any shortlist even with a hefty weight on his back.
2 GENTLEMAN JON – Was in good form when last seen a few months ago putting up two solid placed efforts in a row, doesn’t win all that often as a record of four from twenty-six over fences shows but he is capable off this mark and won this race in 2015; considered.
3 NOTARFBAD – Has been beaten a long way in his last two starts which would leave big doubts over the form he arrives here in, he has only defied a mark this high once in his career and that was back in August 2014, others inspire a bit more confidence.
4 FINGERONTHESWITCH – Won back in January over fences by a wide margin off a mark but struggled with a rise in the handicap and has been beaten more then ten lengths in each subsequent start, needs a revival but has slipped back down the weights slightly and had a break so not discounted.
5 ORBASA – Paul Nicholls has made another good start to his season and Henry Morshead’s seven pound claim may help this one get back on track following a few disappointing runs. He is now seven pounds lower than when beaten just two lengths in April before his rider’s claim is considered and he can bounce back here.
6 PLAY THE ACE – Ran a respectable enough race when behind runaway winner Ballybolley in a listed chase at Market Rasen last time and has surprisingly been dropped two pounds for that effort, if taking a step forward for that would have a shout here.
7 DANCE FLOOR KING – This ultra-consistent course and distance winner almost certainly has to come into considerations having been first or second in his last five starts, was left clear when winning by half the track last time so that form is probably best ignored but still has to come here with a big chance.
8 FOUNDATION MAN – Recorded a quick fire double back in December 2016 but hasn’t been able to repeat that form since, initially struggled with a rise in the weights but has really lost form and despite being feasibly handicapped again others are preferred.
9 THEATRE MILL – Has won just three of his thirty-nine starts under rules and was beaten a distance in his last two starts after a respectable enough third the time before, suspicions are this will be a bit too tough for him even if bouncing back.
10 ROLL THE DOUGH – Won a maiden hurdle and a novice hurdle back in late 2015 before making the switch to the larger obstacles where he failed to figure twice, ran a decent race when third off a long break last time and has a squeak if that has put him spot on for this.