Only three going to post for this Novices’ Chase with £6,498 on offer to the winner and this is likely to develop into a tactical affair. Read on for our experts’ thoughts and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: This should boil down to a match between PRINCE KHURRAM and No Ceiling who face off again after finishing 3rd and 1st respectively when they met at Sedgefield at the end of August and it should be closer today over this longer trip. The Ian Williams horse is back on a handy mark today after he found life tougher off higher the last twice and he is entitled to go well again. Donald McCain’s horse however has been holding his form well and wasn’t far behind the smart Seefood who was second in the Grand Sefton at Aintree at the weekend. If lasting out the trip he can turn the tables on his Sedgefield conqueror here.
1 Prince Khurram – Won on good/firm at Perth in June over 2m when making all and handing a 4 ½ length beating to Hostile Fire from the Gordon Elliot yard who is a decent stayer on the Flat over middle-distances. Third behind the re-opposing No Ceiling today getting caught out for pace 4 out, eventually going down by a length and half. That was over 2m and the extra yardage and ground today should suit (has won up to 2m3f at Sedgefield) and is 6lb better off with that rival today. Was a decent third and only 7 lengths behind the smart Seefood from the Dr Richard Newland yard at Musselburgh on his last start, and that horse finished a very good second in the Grand Sefton Chase at Aintree on Saturday. Yard have been a bit quiet recently but entitled to go well and shouldn’t be too far away in this.
2 No Ceiling – Won back-to-back races at Southwell and then on chase debut at Sedgefield in August, both on good ground. Two lengths ahead of the re-opposing Prince Khurram in that chase debut over 2m although that rival was giving plenty of weight to him that day. Two thirds since off higher marks has seen life made a bit tougher for him and he races off a mark of 108 today. Only 6lb higher for that win at Sedgefield he could be capable of keeping Prince Khurram at bay once again with the yard in fair form.
3 Oliver’s Hill – Ran off a career-low mark of 100 when running on to score on ground to similar to this, by two and a quarter lengths at Plumpton four starts ago over 2m3f, beating the useful Anthony Honeyball horse Unify into third – five lengths behind. Going well when fell at the 3rd last at the same track next time out and soundly beaten over this trip two starts ago including when a well-backed favourite at Leicester last week. Down in trip today and looks one-paced with the other two, yard has been quiet recently and not one to get carried away with given how poorly he has jumped recently.