4.50pm Ludlow Tips & Betting Preview 24/02/2016

Preview and Tips myracing

This hunter chase contains strength in depth but it’s hard to see beyond MENDIP EXPRESS, who has shown some very useful form in handicaps and, having won a hunter chase at Warwick last month, is one of the leading contenders for the Cheltenham Foxhunter next month. Last year’s winner Twirling Magnet would prefer faster ground but still looks the main danger to the selection. Shoreacres and Ballytober have each-way claims.

Tip: Mendip Express at 4/6

MENDIP EXPRESS – Seven-time point winner who has shown some very useful form under rules over the last couple of years and comes here after winning stable/hunter chase debut at Warwick (3m, soft) last month; should be a very tough nut to crack here.

PENTIFFIC – Won the same 2m4f hunter chase at Warwick in 2014 and 2015 and stays much further, but seemed to lose his way last spring and never really threated when reappearing in a point last month; entitled to have benefited from that outing but others are stronger.

TWIRLING MAGNET – Took this race by 11l last year and also had plenty in hand when following-up at Newbury (2m7f, good) a few weeks later; off the track since bursting a blood vessel in a handicap in October and would prefer faster ground, but still enters calculations.

BALLYTOBER – Versatile regrading ground and reached the frame in four of his six hunter chases last year, including when second to Twirling Magnet in this race; has a bit to find with some of today’s rivals, though, and this is his first start since May.

SHOREACRES – Useful in his prime and ran well for a long way when sixth in the Foxhunter at last year’s Cheltenham festival; each-way claims here on that evidence but getting long in the tooth now and has been off since April.

FROMTHETOP – Sole win from 15 starts under rules came in a low-grade handicap hurdle in 2013 and he looked held when unseating rider in a point on last month’s stable debut; easy to overlook in this company.

GAUVAIN – Twice a Grade 2 winner in his younger days but hasn’t scored under rules since December 2011; won two points last year but struggled in that sphere when last in action nine months ago and now returns as a 14yo.

GRANDIOSO – Won a Grade 2 novice chase for Paul Nicholls three years ago but has been absent since 2014 Punchestown festival; changed hands for £6,000 in October and it’s very difficult to gauge how much ability remains.

INVISIBLE MAN – Lightly raced in recent years and failed to complete both his starts under rules in 2015; has plenty of useful form to his name but would prefer better ground and is back from a 271-day absence today.

LOCAL CELEBRITY – Pulled up in two handicaps last summer (chase/hurdle) and was well-beaten 66-1 shot when returning from absence in selling hurdle last month; hood removed today; makes very little appeal.

OH TOODLES – Only been raced once under rules, when finishing second in C&D hunter chase in April 2013; quite consistent in points since then and has a recent run under his belt, but will probably find this race too competitive.

TRAFALGAR – Quite useful at one stage and still only a 9yo, but looked badly out of sorts in handicaps last season and has lots to prove after 287-day absence.

myracing Forecast Prices: 8/13 Mendip Express, 9/2 Twirling Magnet, 10/1 Grandioso, 12/1 Ballytober, 14/1 Shoreacres, Invisible Man, 25/1 Pentiffic, Gauvain, 33/1 Oh Toodles, 50/1 Trafalgar, 66/1 Local Celebrity, 100-1 Fromthetop

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