£4,159 will go to the winner of the third race of the day Hereford, but perhaps more interesting is the quality on show. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: With all the allowances taken into account Rayvin Black has to have a good chance but could be the author of his own demise if he goes his usual break neck speed and makes any mistakes so the vote goes to ZAMDY MAN today. A Grade 2 winner over hurdles, he has showed promise on both his chasing starts to date and his latest start can be forgiven as it was his seasonal reappearance and going up in trip most likely back fired. He receives 6lb from Gino Trail today which is likely to make a big difference and with conditions to suit, he is the one to be with today.
1 GINO TRAIL – Very lightly raced 10 year old who’s been a mixed bag over fences, but has gotten his act together the last thrice and has won two of those. There was no disgrace in not completing his hat-trick at Warwick on his latest start when battling well to just be denied by the smart Buveur D’Air, but is conceding 6lb or more today to other useful rivals today which will make things tough. He has the ground to suit as well as the trip and is likely to run his heart out again for Kerry Lee, but it is going to be no easy feat to win again and may just struggle with one of these.
2 ZAMDY MAN – Grade 2 winner over hurdles beating the useful Un Temps Pour Tout and has taken well to chasing. Despite being very keen early on, he still ran on well in the closing stages to beat another useful rival in The Saint James on chase debut at Uttoxeter (1m 7f, Soft), and he probably didn’t appreciate the step up in trip on his latest start when very tired behind KIlcrea Vale at Ludlow a few weeks ago (2m 4f, Good to Soft). Conditions are much more suitable today and it’s crucial to note his previous run was his seasonal reappearance, so should have come on for that and further progress can be expected of him today. He receives 6lb from Gino Trail today which should sway things in his favour and this 8 year old from the Venetia Williams stable looks the one to be on today.
3 MR JIM – Twice raced in bumpers and struggled on both starts, failing to land a blow in either and finishing a distance behind. Well beaten in two points since and it’s almost impossible to make a case for him against some very useful opposition, especially as Tony Carroll has only sent out 1 winner from his last 30+ runners.
4 RAYVIN BLACK – Won a Grade 2 at Wincanton back in February, in his usual style from the front (1m 7f, Soft). Finally makes his chase debut at the age of eight and receives 15lb from Gino Trail with the jockey’s claim taken into consideration. He has shaped as though chasing would suit in the past and he’ll likely be aggressively ridden by Thomas Garner in attempt to make all but that has to be of concern with this being his chasing debut, as any mistakes are not likely to go unpunished and he could be the cause of his own demise. If however he does jump soundly he has to be considered a main danger with the allowances taken into account and is very much respected.
5 SAGE MONKEY – Showed decent enough form in point to points but has not transferred any ounce of ability to regulation fences, finishing 125 lengths down in second at Hereford in October and was no better when tailed off at Bangor in November (2m 4f, Soft). Definitely the second string for Kerry Lee today and is unlikely to land a blow against this level of competition.
6 SPOILT ROTTEN – Wasn’t disgraced in his only bumper run when a close 3rd at Chepstow in October 2015 (2m, Good) but never went on from that effort, pulling up both times over hurdles towards the back end of 2015. Hasn’t been seen since and it is hard to build a case for him, so he is best avoided.