7.15pm Exeter Tips & Betting Preview 03/05/2016

IN SUMMARY: 2015 Grand Annual Chase hero NEXT SENSATION (8/1 Each Way) drew a blank in hot handicaps last season but didn’t run badly when bidding to defend his crown back at the Cheltenham festival in March and the switch to patient tactics didn’t suit him over 2m5f there last month. He’s subsequently been given some significant help from the handicapper and is fancied to take advantage in this easier race. O Maonlai has a rather patchy record over fences but his Cheltenham festival defeat can be overlooked and he’s a danger to all if on song here. Fear Glic ran quite a bit better than the bare form suggest when beaten about 28l at Bangor on his latest outing and can get closer to the target on the faster ground here.

1 Next Sensation – Out of form last season and evidently wasn’t suited by switch to patient tactics in 2m5f Grade 2 event at Cheltenham last month (well beaten when last-fence faller); however, now 8lb lower than when winning Grand Annual Chase at 2015 Cheltenham festival and could be hard to catch in this company if reverting to usual front-running role.

2 O Maonlai – Inconsistent since switched to fences in autumn 2014 but was quite impressive when scoring at Newbury (2m2f, good to soft) in February 2015 and his second to Aloomomo over 2m6f there in November was also a good effort; always on the back foot after early jumping error at Cheltenham festival last time but dangerous to ignore in this less competitive event.

3 Wings Of Smoke – Gained fortunate win in grueling event after break at Taunton (2m, heavy) in January but unseated rider on next outing and was well beaten when last in action; will be fine on today’s faster ground but not getting any younger and others have more appealing profiles.

4 Vesperal Dream – Absent since disappointing favourite in Listed handicap at Newton Abbot last summer but had won four of his previous six starts; suited by decent ground and a left-handed circuit; could still have further improvement in him if fully revved up.

5 Gone Too Far – Won twice over 2m4f last year and made pleasing return from winter break when third at Ludlow (3m, good) last month, despite reportedly breaking a blood vessel; can give another good account off the same mark here.

6 Union Saint – Faced three tough assignments in good-quality novice chases this year and has better chance at the weights now switched to a handicap; conditions here look suitable but he spent quite long time over hurdles and lacks obvious potential to progress over fences.

7 Easily Pleased – Pulled up with broken rein after layoff in March but ran a big race before unseating rider at final fence at Taunton (2m2f, good) last month; 2lb higher today and this race looks more competitive, but he still enters calculations.

8 Such A Legend – Shaped as though he might be suited by today’s longer trip when creditable fourth at Wetherby (2m, good) in October and is 2lb lower now; claims on that evidence but returned from break with disappointing performance last month and is now 0-5 over fences.

9 Fear Glic – Lightly raced 10yo who has been comfortably held in both chases since returning from a long absence this year; ran well for a long way at Bangor (2m4f, soft) on more recent occasion, though, and will be better suited by the faster ground here; worth a second look.

10 Handy Andy – Lurks on a dangerous handicap mark but was pulled up three consecutive times after finishing second at Wincanton (3m2f, good) in October; steadied the ship with two reasonable hurdle runs last month but might find today’s trip a bit sharp and still has something to prove.

myracing Forecast Prices: 4/1 Gone Too Far, 5/1 Next Sensation, 6/1 Vesperal Dream, Easily Pleased, 8/1 O Maonai, Such A Legend, 10/1 Fear Glic, 12/1 Union Saint, Handy Andy, 20/1 Wings Of Smoke

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