A field of seven go to post for the fourth race of the day at Exeter on Tuesday, see our betting tisp and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: CLUBS ARE TRUMPS came back from a two day lay off when placing at Worcester in the summer, so can come back from three days off the track to take victory in this. He was a very easy winner of a Chepstow handicap on Saturday when eased down late on under 10lb claimer Jordan Canavan and off the same mark he will be hugely dangerous. He is taken to follow up under the same rider in similar conditions for Jonjo O’Neill, whose yard is in blistering form at present. He can be followed home by Ugolin De Beaumont and Tom Neary.
1 TOM NEARY – Ten year old who will be carrying top weight of 11st 12lb in this, which he may well be capable of shouldering if back to his best for Robert Walford. He was a good third here over C&D in October off a 3lb higher mark, though will need to improve markedly on his very poor showing at Fontwell two weeks later when he was last seen (2m 5f, Good to Soft). Likely to be happier back up in trip and he’s weighted for a good run, as he does go well fresh. Entitled to go close and is respected.
2 UGOLIN DE BEAUMONT – Lightly raced nine year old who only has four chasing runs under his belt thus far for Bob Buckler and has shown some decent form in two of those runs. On his latest start he was a good fourth over C&D when second behind a run away winner and ahead of Quinto, which bodes well. If he can build on that run he’d have to be given a big chance, with better ground is a slight query as he’s never raced on purely ‘good’ ground. Likely to go close under Liam Heard and is considered.
3 CLUBS ARE TRUMPS – Six time winner over fences for Jonjo O’Neill, with the sixth coming at Chepstow on Saturday when winning comfortably, eased down towards the finish under 10lb claimer Jordan Canavan who rides again today. Connections aim to strike while the iron is hot and that may pay dividends, as he coped with a 2 day lay off in the past so the fact he’s out so quickly is of little concern in this. Ground conditions are to suit and if he runs with the same zest again he looks likely to be very hard to beat in this.
4 SONOFTHEKING – Previous C&D winner in May 2016 off a 27lb lower mark but he has evidently improved since then, though has been poor the last thrice for Nicky Martin. His jumping let him down when losing his place at Hereford a month ago and he makes limited appeal at present in his current vein of form, despite now being down to a mark of 107. Possible place claims but is risky at present.
5 ONLY GORGEOUS – One win from twenty-one starts under rules and although he was a good second here over shorter in March (2m 3f, Soft), he failed to back it up when looking very laboured at Fontwell, only staying on when it was too late (2m 5f, Good). Going up in trip seems the correct move and the Sue Gardner yard are in good form at present, so he isn’t a forlorn hope. Lucy Gardner takes off a further 3lb and he is certainly in with a place shout if at his best.
6 QUINTO – Running well at present for Jimmy Frost with a string of good efforts, finishing second at Fontwell in February, albeit well beaten by the winner (2m 5f, Soft). He looked very one paced on his latest start when third over C&D on his latest start behind Ugolin De Beaumont and will certainly need to improve on that effort if he’s to feature. 7lb claimer takes off some useful weight but others are preferred on this occasion.
7 TEHRAN CROSS – Inconsistent mare who is almost impossible to catch right and although she was a good second at Wincanton on her penultimate start, she didn’t back it up when well beaten and pulled up at Towcester in February. Now down to a mark of 81 and makes little appeal with how risky she is at present. Others readily preferred.