Lilly can blossom in Towcester mud
Ian Ogg picks out a best bet, a longshot and a horse in focus to consider ahead of today's action.
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A modest maiden with favourite Bowstar possessing an official mark of 65 following five attempts at breaking her duck.
That leaves the 58-rated Transfix with something to find but that is reflected in her price and there was enough promise on her polytrack debut in September to believe that she can bridge the gap.
Experimenting with blinkers on her penultimate start didn't work and she was by no means disgraced in handicap company over 10 furlongs last time.
The return to maiden company and the drop to a mile should suit while the booking of Jamie Spencer (22% strike rate for the yard to a level stakes profit of over £30 over the last five season) is a huge positive and the addition of cheekpieces can see this superbly bred filly gain a valuable success.
Despite a couple of morning absentees the closing race on Towcester's card still appears to be a fairly warm bumper with Lillybrook currently a double figure price.
The mare, owned and trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, opened up at around 20/1 on her debut at Warwick but was backed in to 6/1 by the off only to disappoint in finishing in ninth.
That race was run at a crawl with a sprint finish and it patently didn't suit the daughter of Alderbrook who was in touch until the tempo quickened.
The Warwick winner was thought enough of to contest a Listed race at Navan next time while the second won her next start by 21 lengths suggesting the form is solid enough.
This event may be run at a crawl but it's stamina and not a turn of foot that will prove key in the prevailing conditions and that may enable Lillybrook to show her true colours.
A course and distance winner almost three weeks ago when ridden by Sporting Life columnist Wayne Hutchinson who was impressed by the five year old.
Writing in his weekly column he said: "He is a smashing, rangy horse.
"He will be seen at his best over a fence and whatever he does until then is a bonus but he left a lovely impression. He jumped well and travelled strongly and when he got to the front he was actually a bit green.
"It was his first proper run in public after an outing in an Irish point-to-point and there was plenty to like about his performance. I think he will be kept quite low key so will be seen again in another novice hurdle with a penalty."
Here he is back at the scene of his success but with the ground ever more testing at the Northamptonshire venue, a penalty on his back and cramped odds he's one to watch with an eye on the future.