IN SUMMARY: We like the each way chances of HARRY’S FAREWELL (15/2 Each Way) for ex jockey Polly Gundry with amateur Joshua Newman taking a very useful seven pounds off his back. He seems to come alive around here and has been dropped a pound for his last respectable effort which we think gives him every chance.
1 PRESENT VIEW (8/1)– Yet to win on going this fast or over this far or off a rating this high but is still officially the best horse in the race. Ran well over hurdles when runner up to Aqua Dude at Southwell as a pipe opener and seems sure to run well today but the trip may not see him at his best.
2 PORT MELON (11/2) – Seems to have more than enough weight based on his chasing form but with Paul Nicholls all out for the Trainers’ Championship he seems sure to run well. This looks like his trip and he could improve again after just the three races over fences but his rating still seems a little too high to us and he will need to better his solitary chase win over course and distance if he wants to score again.
3 PANTXOA (20/1) – He has already won three races off of this handicap mark or above so needs to be considered even if he is returning from a long long lay off. All has clearly not been well with Alan King’s nine-year-old and a watching brief is advised today.
4 THEATRICAL STAR (14/1) – Form says not but then again he is from the Colin Tizzard stable so all things are possible this season. Hasn’t won since December 2014 and was last seen at Ascot when unseating at the first fence and has a bit to prove this afternoon.
5 HARRY’S FAREWELL (15/2)– Runs well for jockey Joshua Newman who is pretty good value for his seven pounds claim, while the horse likes it round here as proved by one win and three third places from just the five runs. Third behind both Kruzhlinin and Le Reve off a pound higher last time out, and a winner at Newbury on his return in November, the handicapper appears to have given him a chance which he ought to take this afternoon.
6 LOOSE CHIPS (6/1) – Likes to front run and likes it round here with three wins from seven starts – but no places. May well get an uncontested lead today which will make his life that bit easier and ran well enough when second off the same mark last time out at Sandown – chances if he can slip his field but surely his rivals won’t be that naïve?.
7 SHANTOU MAGIC (12/1) – Looks like the Longsdon second string to us and has looked a shadow of his former self in four unsuccessful races this season. Very well handicapped on his best form but there is no reason we can see to suggest he will repeat that today though they do try a new jockey in Andrew Tinkler who rides him for the first time in public.
8 BORDER BREAKER (16/1) – First run for his new stable having been with David Pipe since March 2014 and it will be interesting to see if Simon Waugh can rekindle his interest. He still has three pounds more than his best ever winning mark and may need to come down a little further before connections can even dream of another win.
9 WIZARDS BRIDGE (10/1) – Can put in good runs when it suits him but is anything but consistent. Finished ahead of Port Melon when they met at Exeter last time out and is weighted to do so again here, and will appreciate the step back up in trip leaving him with place possibilities at best in our book.
10 VALADOM (20/1) – Never won beyond two and a half miles as yet but some fair efforts over much further including a fourth place to Josies Orders at Cheltenham in the November Cross Country Chase and a fifth to the same horse back at the same track last December. May finds some of these a bit too quick for him around here
11 THE ITALIAN YOB (12/1) – May be appropriately named and seems to have his own ideas about the game, suggesting jockey Daryl Jacob will earn every penny of his riding fee. Nick Williams yard struggling for winners of late and would be a bit of an upset were he to win here.
12 CLOUDY BOB (12/1) – A course and distance winner in March he was clobbered by the handicapper and put up nine pounds for his cheek making life a lot more difficult now. That was his first victory since 2014 and hard to make a case for why he should win again today, and may need to come back down a few pounds first.
13 REPRESENTINGCELTIC (20/1) – Bound it have needed his first run in six months when stone cold last at Chepstow in October but it has to be a worry that he hasn’t been seen again since. Likely to need it again today and not one we will consider seriously.
14 FOND MEMORY (10/1) – Ran as if something was amiss last time out at Sandown before being sensibly pulled up by Sam Twiston-Davies. Prior to that disappointment he has finished in the first four home in all ten starts over fences but could still be a bit too high in the weights though he must have chances of a first four finish again today if back to his best.
myracing Forecast Prices: 5/1 Port Melon, 7/1 Loose Chips Harry’s Farewell, 10/1 Present View Wizards Bridge Fond Memory 12/1 The Italian Yob Cloudy Bob Shantou Magic Theatrical Star 16/1 Border Breaker Valadom, 25/1 Representingceltic Pantxoa