13.55 – Champion Hats Juvenile Hurdle – 2m
BALBOA has run well in both starts over hurdles and while he didn’t fare too well on his only previous start on deep ground, he has the class to figure. STRAY BULLET is an interesting debutant for David Pipe and is dangerous to rule out, while WHISPERING ROYAL represents last year’s winning stable and has a good chance too.
Tips: BALBOA, STRAY BULLET, WHISPERING ROYAL
14.30 – Native River Handicap Chase – 2m7f
STOLEN SILVER can return off the same mark as when second at Cheltenham in a stronger race on New Year’s Day and his record first-time-out reads well. STRICTLYADANCER has not been seen for a very long time but he is in receipt of weight from all of his rivals and was in good form when last seen. He could be ready to acquit himself well on his return to action.
Tips: STOLEN SILVER, STRICTLYADANCER
15.10 – Happy Birthday Sue Novices’ Chase – 2m3f
KNAPPERS HILL won on this card last year and bagged a pair of Grade 2 hurdle races on his way to what was a productive campaign. He is the class act in the field and is built to excel over fences, so he should be hard to beat. However, UNEXPECTED PARTY will be included as cover, who has bags of chase experience and should be able to give the favourite most to think about.
Tips: KNAPPERS HILL, UNEXPECTED PARTY
15.40 – John Ayres Memorial Handicap Chase – 2m3f
ELIXIR DE NUTZ is a former Grade 1 winner who has an excellent career-strike rate and upped his game last season in this sphere with a win and three seconds. He will improve from this return but should make a bold bid. Of the rest, Grade 2 winner AL DANCER has an impressive seasonal debut record to boast and goes well on rain-softened ground, so the ten-year-old is well with consideration.
Tips: ELIXIR DE NUTZ, AL DANCER
16.15 – Wasdell Group Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle – 2m3f
MOLLY OLLYS WISHES struggled in a pair of large-field, competitive handicaps after finishing second in a Listed race at Warwick but she goes extremely well fresh given she has won a Listed event at Wetherby on her last two reappearances and interestingly skips that race in favour of this one today. Down to a mark of 134, she’s a major player at this level.
Tips: MOLLY OLLYS WISHES
16.50 – Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow 4-Y-O Hurdle – 2m
DESPEREAUX was down the field on his final outing last term at Ascot but this is an easier race and he had previously opened his account in very good style at Taunton. He can go well, while NEW YEAR HONOURS was well held in a Listed event last time but is another eased in grade and should be thereabouts for team Elliott and Kennedy.
Tips: DESPEREAUX, NEW YEAR HONOURS
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