Wells has real prospects
Prospect Wells can state a late case for the Cheltenham Festival by winning at Fontwell on Sunday. Chris Wilson has tips for all the day's race.
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FONTWELL: 2.10 Letemgo, 2.40 Shoegazer, 3.15 Time To Think, 3.45 PROSPECT WELLS (NAP), 4.20 Radetsky March, 4.50 Kambis, 5.20 Jammy.
NAAS: 2.00 Aerlite Supreme, 2.30 Sweeney Tunes, 3.05 Quietly Fancied, 3.35 Don Cossack, 4.10 Days Hotel, 4.40 Schinkel, 5.10 Kick On Boss.
TOWCESTER: 2.20 Clowance House, 2.50 First Morning, 3.25 Valley View, 4.00 Hazy Bay, 4.30 Musical Wedge, 5.00 Daylan.
DOUBLE: Prospect Wells and Valley View.
Prospect Wells can state a late case for the Cheltenham Festival by winning the totepool National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell.
Paul Nicholls' inmate holds three entries in the main event next month, including in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, and a big run here will do him the power of good.
It is hardly a fanciful notion to anticipate the Graham Wylie-owned eight-year-old claiming this Grade Two, either, as he has some stout form in the book.
Prospect Wells was fifth in last season's Supreme Novices' Hurdle and carried on the good work when he took third spot in a Grade Two at Aintree.
There was also much to admire about his return to the track in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton in November, when he gave stablemate and leading Champion Hurdle candidate Zarkandar a genuine fright, beaten just a neck.
Things might not subsequently have gone to plan in the Racing Post Hurdle back at Cheltenham and the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot, but Prospect Wells was almost certainly hamstrung by the challenging ground on both occasions.
Back in trip and on ground which is likely to be far less exacting, he looks the pick of the three Nicholls runners in what appears a moderate renewal.
Kambis has in the past shown a liking for Fontwell, and is an interesting runner in the totepool.com Handicap Hurdle.
The Gary Moore-trained five-year-old was an impressive winner here in January 2012, but has not really backed up that effort - which has largely been down to some erratic jumping.
That said, he twice soldiered on for third spot over course and distance before returning to the track in January with an admittedly subdued display on the Flat at Kempton.
Kambis remains reasonably treated if his Fontwell win is factored into the equation, though, while his wise trainer is likely to have got his jumping back on the straight and narrow.
Valley View has what it takes to arrest a poor run of form in the Jerry Moynihan Memorial Handicap Chase at Towcester.
Trained by Jonjo O'Neill and owned by JP McManus, the seven-year-old gelding has had a bad season, having unseated his jockey at Cheltenham before being pulled up at Lingfield in January.
And while he was virtually tailed off in a two-mile handicap chase at Sandown at the start of the month, he showed just a flicker of the old fire to suggest he could soon be back in the game.
Valley View should appreciate this longer trip, over which he won here in November 2011, and is now on the same mark off which he was last successful at Exeter.
This looks a pretty moderate race given the prize-money on offer, and it must be of interest that Tony McCoy is back at the helm.
Hazy Bay can also shine in the Reiki Healing With Clare Handicap Hurdle.
The Michael Roberts-trained gelding is not too bad an operator on his day, and has again been in reasonable nick this winter.
Hazy Bay was a good second over this course and distance in December, on his first start since last March, and followed up with a staying-on third at Plumpton at the beginning of the month.
Roberts will be happy his eight-year-old has been left alone off a mark of 100, such has been his well-being this year.
The likelihood of soft ground must also be considered a boon.