Plenty of big yards represented in what looks a decent quality handicap hurdle for a £6,498 prize. Read on for expert analysis and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: BARMAN is a consistent type who has slipped back down to an appealing mark and if confirming the promise of his last run should take a bit of beating, General Ginger is interesting off a huge layoff as is Paul Nicholls’ Garo De Juilley.
1 GENERAL GINGER – Defying a 525 day absence to win is no easy feat but Harry Fry couldn’t be in better form at the moment and this one has one particularly eye-catching piece of form when three lengths behind Modus in a novices’ hurdle, has it all to do off a mammoth break but not discounted with any great confidence.
2 LORD HUNTINGDON – Won two starts ago in quite good style at Bangor but seemed anchored by a six pounds rise when comfortably beaten next time out, enjoys firm underfoot conditions but has to prove he is still well-handicapped here.
3 ON DEMAND – A likeable mare who was well beaten in some top class races last year before dropping back down in class on her reappearance where she was a decent third, will need to take a step forward but that is quite possible and she is considered.
4 GARO DE JUILLEY – Gained his first success for Paul Nicholls two starts ago and nothing really went right for him when attempting to follow up, if forgiving him that effort and trusting the excellent Paul Nicholls has him ready for this then he must be shortlisted.
5 EAST INDIES – Won well when last seen and beat today’s rival Lord Huntingdon in the process, a five pound rise doesn’t seem insurmountable and although his stable hasn’t been in the best of form recently he has to be given a good chance of going close again.
6 BARMAN – Won a few races last year including off three pounds higher than his current mark and hinted at a return to his best when second after a string of disappointing efforts, if improving upon that run he is decently handicapped and should go well.
7 IVOR’S QUEEN – James Bowen has been a standout amateur rider this season and his seven pound claim will be very useful here but his mount has a strike rate of just one win from eighteen starts and hasn’t much looked like bettering that stat recently, others are preferred.
8 I’LL BE YOUR CLOWN – A well beaten favourite on his last two starts for Dan Skelton leave this one as a risky looking betting proposition, there is a chance the new scenery will spark some life into him but others are readily preferred on paper.
9 NABHAN – A fair performer on the flat but has only won once in his nine starts over hurdles and has looked anything but well handicapped in his last few runs in this sphere when beaten a long way in each, needs to find something extra to get involved here.
10 THUNDERING HOME – A veteran who won a handicap hurdle off two pounds lower than his current mark earlier in the year, if repeating that form would have an outside chance but hasn’t got close to a run similar in a while and can be overlooked.