A field of ten go to post for the handicap hurdle at Uttoxeter on Wednesday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Supreme Steel only found a well treated rival too good on his latest start and should play a crucial role, but he looks to be about to find himself faced with another well treated sort in HOLY STREET. He has shown ability in three runs in maiden/novice company for Alan King and a mark of 102 on his handicap debut looks extremely lenient as his preivous assignements were clearly unrealistic. Wayne Hutchinson takes the ride and with conditions to suit, he looks very tough to stop as he should be ahead of this mark for an in form stable.
1 LADY OF LONGSTONE – Seven year old for David Pipe whose stamina for this trip is still very much up for debate, sometimes placing at this distance but beaten a fair way. She was last seen here over the 2m 4f distance, finishing third after setting the pace and she remains on a dangerous handicap mark of 115. If given a soft lead she couldn’t be ruled out entirely, but she’s likely to find at least one of these too good for her, or at least having too much staying power for her.
2 MONT CHOISY – Made his debut for Peter Bowen on his latest start in the cheekpieces, where he dropped out very quickly over the 3m 2f trip at Stratford in May. The handicapper has given him a chance by dropping him five pounds, but he’s far from a model of consistency and he’s hard to trust despite having James Bowen taking off ten pounds from his back. Possible each way contender at his best but others make far more appeal.
3 FALCARRAGH – Capable sort on his day for Tim Vaughan, as shown by his win at Kempton in May 2016, but he returned this season over fences at Aintree when a very laboured last place. On that evidence he has plenty to prove and he remains four pounds above his last winning mark over timber. This trip isn’t sure to be his liking and his stamina is far from assured, so there are clearly far more interesting options on this occasion.
4 WESTERN JO – Inconsistent nine year old for Alan Brown who is almost impossible to catch right and although he’s now 17lb below his mark when second at Bangor in March 2015, he’s hard to trust. He has produced two poor displays this year for connections, last seen at Market Rasen where he was a tailed off fourth. Brian Hughes retains the ride which is positive, but others look far more likely.
5 BADGERFORT – Made his debut for Jonjo O’Neill at Newton Abbot over fences earlier this month, making lots of errors and eventually pulled up on the final circuit. A return to hurdling should suit on that basis but he does have something to prove and likely needs more off a mark of 110. Others look more persuasive on this occasion and he’s likely to come up short once again until the handicapper shows some mercy.
6 SUPREME STEEL – Created a good impression when second here over course and distance on his stable debut for Dr Richard Newland, behind a horse who was well ahead of his mark and won by five lengths subsequently eight days ago. He remains on the same mark for an in form stable and the jockey booking of Sam Twiston-Davies is an obvious plus. Conditions will suit him fine and he looks tough to beat in the same form again.
7 LORD TOPPER – Hasn’t progressed since breaking his maiden at the second attempt in this discipline, last seen at Fontwell, where he could only manage sixth after weakening late on. He is only two pounds lower and his stamina is far from proven, with his pedigree and previous efforts installing no confidence that he can see this out. Paige Fuller takes off five pounds which will help but he looks vulnerable.
8 MERE ANARCHY – Upped to this trip on his latest start at Worcester where he was a respectable fourth, weakening after the last and the cheekpieces go on for this assignment. He is now three pounds lower and it’s still relatively early days for him, so improvement would be of little surprise. He is not one to take lightly for Robert Stephens and is a strong each way contender if the headgear has a positive effect.
9 BORDER BREAKER – Has run well enough in defeat the last twice for Simon Waugh, finishing fifth at Perth when last seen. He flattened the second last and he weakened tamely after that, which has to be of concern. He doesn’t win very often so he looks vulnerable for win purposes on this occasion, but he wouldn’t be a surprising addition to the placings if building on those latest two run under Paddy Brennan on this occasion.
10 HOLY STREET – Has shown ability in three novice/maiden runs for Alan King, last seen at Fontwell where he had no chance with both Tempestatefloresco and Steel Bob who are both useful performers. He makes his handicap debut off a mark of 102 and this is clearly a much more realistic assignment with Wayne Hutchinson. He looks sure to be ahead of this mark and should take all the beating on this occasion.