12.45 – Watch Racing TV Novices’ Hurdle – 2m
QUEENS GAMBLE will need to be a lot more proficient in the jumping department if she’s to take a higher rank this season, but she still remains the one to beat.
Despite a less-than-fluent round on hurdles debut at Warwick in May when last seen, she still proved way too strong for her rivals, and surely better is to come.
A winner of her first couple of starts in mares’ bumpers at Cheltenham, including a listed event, Harry Derham has an exciting prospect on his hands, and she should be extremely difficult to beat.
After hitting the frame in all three bumper starts, CLASSIC KING made no mistake in scoring impressively on his hurdles debut at Wincanton and has more to come.
The form of his second to Meatloaf in his penultimate start has also been advertised by the winner, so Emma Lavelle’s charge is feared.
Tips: Queens Gamble, Classic King
13.15 – racingtv.com Novices’ Handicap Chase – 2m4f
STRINGTOYOURBOW shaped a lot better than the finishing margin indicated on his return from 19 months off the track at Cheltenham.
His two previous efforts in handicaps read well ahead of this task. He makes plenty of appeal on his chase debut.
EARTH KING has gone from strength-to-strength the last twice, beating an odds-on favourite with plenty to spare at Exeter, before he matched that form when second on handicap debut at Taunton off top-weight.
In that Exeter success, he beat a subsequent winner, and, with improvement to come, he ticks plenty of boxes, making his chase debut.
Tips: Stringtoyourbow, Earth King
13.50 – Racing TV Novices’ Hurdle – 2m5f
The third race on the card can go the way of Kim Bailey’s EL RIO.
He was in front and looking the winner when falling at the last on his stable/hurdle debut but gained compensation when scoring easily at Ascot next time.
He had a tendency to jump to the right, but he jumped beautifully and quickened away to score by 11 lengths. His trainer and jockey are in good form; he has more to offer, plus this looks easier than last time.
He should be tough to beat, though East India Express did impress in winning a bumper here last time and is an interesting addition to the hurdle ranks.
Tips: El Rio
14.25 – Unibet Middle Distance Series Veterans’ Handicap Chase – 2m4f
Dan Skelton’s HATCHER can find himself 20 pounds lower than when last successful and must be considered a serious player on the pick of his form now venturing into a veterans’ race for the first time.
DEYRANN DE CARJAC has proved expensive to follow in recent years, but the handicapper has continued to give him a good chance, and a repeat of his best form would bring him into the equation against these.
DANNY KIRWAN finished second in both completed starts last season, and despite not being the hardest of horses in a finish, the ten-year-old is only a pound higher than when he scored at Ascot last year.
Tips: Hatcher, Deyrann De Carjac, Danny Kirwan
15.00 – Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle – 2m5f
In the fifth race, SOARING GLORY could gain his first win in more than two years. His last win was off a six-pound higher mark in a Grade 3 race at Ascot, and he has the class to defeat these if he can recapture some of his best form.
COBBLERS DREAM won the Lanzarote very easily over course and distance two seasons ago, and while he was pulled up in that same race when last seen, he is back on the same mark as when second in the Martin Pipe at the Cheltenham Festival.
COPPER COIN is another to consider, who returned a good second here in April, and the ten-year-old has a good record when fresh. He has run well off this sort of mark previously, so he should be primed to make an impact.
Tips: Soaring Glory, Cobblers Dream, Copper Coin
15.30 – Paul Ferguson’s Jumper’s To Follow Mares’ Handicap Chase – 2m4f
VOICE OF CALM is a mare who likes winning, and although she only won a match-race at Leicester, she did beat her sole rival off a pound higher mark. Her comeback third over hurdles was promising, and she should be set to feature in the outcome.
PETTICOAT LUCY is unbeaten in two starts in this sphere, and a six-pound rise for her easy reappearance success at Exeter is lenient. With a lot more to come, she has every chance of making it three wins in this sphere. She is one of the leading candidates.
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