Trainer Peter Bowen has a 14% strike rate at Uttoxeter and will be looking to enhance that this afternoon courtesy of Henri Parry Morgan (9/2), an eight-year-old gelding who won a decent Chepstow novice handicap last time out very easily by ten lengths without really being asked a serious question. That was only his third race over the larger obstacles so there ought to be plenty more to come with experience, and although he has been put up an over the top thirteen pounds for that win, we are thinking it will be unlucky for the bookmakers and he can follow up this afternoon and land our bets.
David Pipe had others in this race at the four-day stage but has decided to rely on Abracadabra Sivola (6/1) instead, and that may yet be a hint in itself. Although he won last time out when beating Lockstockandbarrel off the same mark at Leicester on heavy ground but his best run may well have been when he was beaten sixteen lengths by Native River at level weights at Exeter in early November. The winner peaked at a rating of 153 and may well go back to that sort of mark after his excellent second to Minella Rocco at Cheltenham and if you took that literally, the Pipe beast would be weighted about 137 today yet gets in off of 125 and could yet be a handicap snip.
Meanwhile, Kingswell Theatre (22/1) has to carry top weight today for trainer Michael Scudamore with Adam Wedge the one given the job of steering him home. Wins at Market Rasen and then Chepstow saw him go up in the ratings, and he has since found life a lot more difficult, beaten sixty lengths by Milansbar at Exeter last time out, and even with a drop in the weights (three pounds to be precise), it would be a surprise to us if he can win again this afternoon.
Warren Greatrex has his horses in acceptable form of late if nothing else, and in April Dusk (7/1) he has a very interesting contender, though softer ground may be of some benefit. A son of Turtle Island, he won his first race over fences here over half a mile shorter before falling at the last at Leicester and finishing second to Tomngerry at Newcastle in a decent enough race, but there has to be a question mark about this three-mile trip, and a place may still be the very best connections can realistically hope for.
Delgany Demon (14/1) is one of many entered here who may well head to Cheltenham instead (hence the need for an overnight re write), but he did win last time out at Southwell last time out under jockey Sean Bowen, tracking the front runners before staying on strongly for a four length or so success. A five-pound weight rise does seem more than enough based on the pure form of that run (second placed Pyrshan is still a maiden), but he is a dour stayer who may be seen in an even better light over marathon trips, but he will be staying on when others are crying off and could still run a big race if they have the sense to send him here instead of Prestbury Park.
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