3.05pm Carlisle Tips & Betting Preview 05/11/2017

A prize of £15,640 has attracted a good quality field for this handicap hurdle. Read on for expert analysis and betting tips.

IN SUMMARY: It was only a year and a half ago that WESTEND STORY finished around three lengths behind the excellent Ballyandy in the Champion Bumper and if transferring anything like that form to hurdles he is thrown in off 124, Tomngerry was unbeaten before going wrong in a Grade 1 and is interesting if back to his best.

1 SHANTOU BOB – Was last season when fifth in the Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle behind Punchestown Festival hero Unowhatimeanharry having won narrowly at Chepstow the time before, he is a strong stayer so the trip is a slight question mark but he is reasonably handicapped and can go well.

2 DESERT CRY – A difficult one to way up, won on the bridle by a huge twenty-seven lengths three starts ago at Ayr but seemed to struggle with his revised mark thereafter, has slipped back down a touch but has never won off a mark this high; risky.

3 ONE FOR HARRY – Patterns are often a good way to look at early season races and Nicky Richards sent out this one to win this very race in both 2014 and 2015, he goes well fresh and his mark is certainly feasible so demands respect.

4 EMINENT POET – Venetia Williams’ horses are known for their love of soft ground and this one is no different, has won three of his last fives starts and although up significantly in the weights he is only six and there could be more to come from; interesting.

5 TOMNGERRY – Brian Ellison has started the season well and sends out an intriguing contender here, has been off since being pulled up in the Sefton at Aintree 576 days ago but was unbeaten to that point and a mark of 132 could underestimate him if he retains his ability.

6 SKY KHAN – Blew out in bottomless ground last time having run nicely on a sounder surface two starts ago, he has a slightly underwhelming strike rate of 4-33 over hurdles however and he may find one or two of these slightly too good.

7 HEAD TO THE STARS – Has had just five runs over obstacles and was victorious in one as well as being placed in another, he looked to have a significant amount of potential and a rating of 127 is not obscene; could make his presence felt.

8 TOP VILLE BEN – Switched from the Nicky Henderson yard two starts ago and has made a slow start to his career for Phillip Kirby, was dropped three pounds for finishing a well-beaten sixth last time but will need to step forward to have a say here.

9 WESTEND STORY – A classy horse who finished fifth in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival back in 2016, failed to capitalise on three seemingly good opportunities in maiden hurdle events but has the potential to do much better in handicaps and a mark of 124 could be rather lenient.

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