7.30pm Hexham Tips & Betting Preview 21/08/2017

A competitive handicap chase over just short of two miles. Read on for our runner by runner and expert tip for the 7.30pm at Hexham on Monday evening.

IN SUMMARY: RHYTHM OF SOUND ran a huge race here back in June, 9lbs better off with Miss Conway for a 2 1/4 length beating. Given that mare is favourite, it makes the early shows of 9/1 about the selection look very over priced. Miss Conway always has to be respected around here as it is her favourite track, while Shine Away could be the one to watch with the future in mind. She is with a decent yard who are likely to get the best out of her at some point this season.

1 DICA – Despite getting on in years, he has held his form well this summer. He was successful at this track over an extra half a mile where he got the better of the re-opposing Miss Conway. Outpaced late on over two furlongs further at Cartmel last time, he is going to need to make this a proper test from the front if he is going to have a chance of holding off younger legs.

2 GLEANN NA NDOCHAIS – 11-year-old who hasn’t got his head in front since October 2015, regressing quicker than the handicapper can drop him in recent starts. Generally seen over further, it would be surprising if he has the speed to live with a number of these late on.

3 TOLEDO GOLD – The third of the 11-year-olds at the head of the weights, he is another who has tumbled down the handicap, 23lbs lower than two years ago. He has run well on both starts over this course and distance, however that is a slim hope to hang on to for supporters given how little he has shown in a pair of 2017 starts.

4 MISS CONWAY – Three of her four wins have come over this course and distance, the other at Market Rasen last time out. Despite being behind Dica at this track over further in June, the return to this trip is more in her favour than that rival’s. She is only six years old so chances are that there is more to come from her. She looks a big player at her favourite stomping ground.

5 THE SHEPHERD KING – Another in the line-up who has looked badly regressive in recent times, slipped 37lbs in the handicap since his peak. November 2013 was the last time he tasted victory so he is very hard to support with any confidence here.

6 SHINE AWAY – Still a maiden after 11 career starts, including eight under rules. Pulled up on her only chase start under rules, she showed only a little on her return from a near 14 month absence last time. Entitled to come on for that run, she is in the right hands to progress so is worth considering given such an unexposed profile.

7 AGENTLEMAN – Yet to get his head in front in 20 starts, he has shown only some ability in a pair of starts for the Evan Williams yard. He is one of just two runners on the card who have made the long journey up from South Wales which suggests that he is worth considering. He just flattened out close home at Southwell and Newton Abbot, however, which is a significant concern on a much stiffer track.

8 MISS MACKIE – Belatedly off the mark last time at Cartmel where she was the beneficiary of Yourholidayisover, once more throwing a race away under pressure. That form should be treated with a degree of caution given the runner-up, but the third was Dica who re-opposes here. If Dica can be used as a reliable yardstick she has an each way chance, especially if that has boosted her confidence.

9 MY IDEA – Losing run stretches back to March 2014, six places to his name have filled the interim. Has been unable to take advantage of a slipping mark for the last couple of seasons, now 26lbs below that winning mark. He has produced just one sound effort from six starts so far this year so he looks best opposed.

10 MR WITMORE – 16 race maiden, he has failed to get within 22 lengths of a winner for his current yard. His best form came in bumpers over this sort of trip, so perhaps the step down in distance will allow him to get a little closer. Even so, he still looks like a risky proposition.

11 RHYTHM OF SOUND – Went close to breaking his maiden tag at Southwell in July, flopping since on soft ground. That isn’t the first time that he has failed to run his race when the ground has been soft, so that is easily excused. First time blinkers replace the visor he has worn on his last three starts, performing well twice. He was only 2 1/4 lengths behind Miss Conway over course and distance in June and he is now 9lbs better off. That gives him a huge chance at the weights if the headgear works.

12 MORNING TIME – Won over hurdles at this track from the same mark in June. He is a far better horse over the smaller obstacles, however, just 1/20 over fences so he has plenty on his plate this evening with a competitive field in opposition.

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