A small field for today’s feature race but a nice pot up for grabs and again this should be interesting tactically with so few horses. Read on for our expert analysis and runner by runner guide plus tip.
IN SUMMARY: Another exciting Novice Chase beckons and hopes will be high for the two Sue Smith runners to run well. They may struggle to contain Welsh Shadow, who put up a bold show having run so well in the Welsh Champion Hurdle last month and will be popular especially with his jockey popping over from Ireland to ride him today. POLITOLOGUE was also impressive over hurdles last term and if his in-form trainer has ironed out his kinks over the summer, could be up to winning this for the yard who have taken this prize for the last 4 years.
1 Aqua Dude – Trainer issued a glowing report in a recent stable tour and this lightly-raced sort has already won easily twice at Southwell from his 5 races for the yard. Has the makings of a useful chaser having won his sole point with a minimum of fuss and this son of Flemensfirth should run well.
2 Delusionofgrandeur – Won twice over hurdles last term including comfortably by 6 lengths at Catterick over 3m1f in January. Disappointed on his next two starts and may be tapped-for-toe against some of these today. Makes his chase debut today and may be one for later in the year.
3 Politologue – Quirky sort who didn’t really ever get to grips with how the race panned out in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham in March. Won as he liked by almost 60 lengths in the race before that at Exeter (only his third start for Paul Nicholls) and return to form beckons if sorting out his foibles. Trainer in scintillating form and market will guide.
4 Vintage Clouds – Good start over fences when finishing 8 lengths behind an improving sort of Henry Daly’s at Carlisle 11 days ago. Good run after 7 months off and looks a definite chaser in the making judged on his pedigree and will surely win races in future but may find one or two too good today.
5 Welsh Shadow – 2nd behind Garde La Victoire in the Welsh Champion Hurdle last month and finished well clear of the 3rd. Produced similar displays last year and is an interesting recruit to hurdles. Davy Russell comes over from Ireland to ride this and yard and jockey are in good form.