Spring to bloom at Taunton

  • By: Ashley Iveson
  • Last Updated: February 18 2013, 18:07 GMT

Ashley Iveson provides a preview and race-by-race selections for Tuesday's action, with his nap coming at Taunton.

Philip Hobbs can enjoy success at Taunton

NAVAN: 1.05 City Slicker, 1.35 Rubi Light, 2.05 Thousand Stars, 2.35 Gold Bullet, 3.10 Stop The Clock, 3.45 Dedigout, 4.20 Tofino Bay, 5.10 Made In Germany.

SOUTHWELL: 1.50 Dorfman, 2.20 Kazbow, 2.50 Corn Maiden, 3.25 Abi Scarlet, 4.00 Mother Jones, 4.35 Armada Bay, 5.10 Our Ivor.

TAUNTON: 2.00 Edmund Kean, 2.30 Gilzean, 3.05 RETURN SPRING (NAP), 3.40 Oscar Nominee, 4.15 Man Of Leisure, 4.45 Shadow Cruise.

WETHERBY: 1.40 Prickles, 2.10 Riskier, 2.40 Forty Crown, 3.15 No Secrets, 3.50 Whispering Gallery, 4.25 Noble Legend, 5.00 Serenity Now.

DOUBLE: Return Spring and Noble Legend.

Philip Hobbs can find the target at Taunton, with Return Spring a sound investment in the Weatherbys Bank Novices' Hurdle.

The Irish Bumper scorer was thrown straight into the Grade Two Persian War Novices' Hurdle at Chepstow on his hurdling and British bow, but predictably found things a little too tough.

He made the most of having his sights lowered when winning with his head in his chest at Ludlow in late November.

There was then no disgrace in finding the talented Midnight Appeal too strong at Hereford last time, especially as he was giving the now-134-rated winner 7lb.

Return Spring is open to further progress, but will probably have to win impressively here if he is to take up an entry in the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival.

A return to the minimum distance can help Noble Legend take his game to another level in the Stowford Press Cider Handicap Chase at Wetherby.

Caroline Bailey's six-year-old enjoyed a fine end to the last campaign with wins at Uttoxeter and Southwell and picked up where he left off on his return, striking at Haydock and again at Uttoxeter to continue his rapid ascent in the ratings.

While defeats on his last two starts would suggest the handicapper now has his measure, the front-running tactics deployed on deep winter ground have perhaps been his undoing in slightly better company over further.

Coming back in distance should theoretically suit him given the way he likes to jump and race.

He should take some pegging back on a track that will play to his strengths.

A return to Southwell and some relief from the handicapper can help Abi Scarlet get back on the winning trail in Tuesday's Get Free Bets With bookmakers.co.uk Handicap.

Hughie Morrison's filly has struck gold three times from as many starts at the Nottinghamshire venue, bolting up on the third occasion as an even-money favourite last May off a mark of 78.

Things have not gone as well for the four-year-old since as she failed to beat a single rival home in appearances on turf at Goodwood and Newmarket.

She was also last home twice back on the all-weather at Kempton in September.

The hope is a five-month break will have reignited the spark in Abi Scarlet and if she is back in the same form as she showed last spring, she remains feasibly treated off a mark of 80.

The booking of Hayley Turner, successful on the filly last April, is another boost to her claims.

Our Ivor is difficult to oppose as he aims to complete a rapid hat-trick in the concluding coral.co.uk Mobile Betting Handicap.

The four-year-old showed some ability in three maidens late in 2011 but did not make much of an impact in his first five starts in handicap company, competing over distances ranging from nine furlongs to a mile and three-quarters.

Returned to a mile here at the start of the month with a mark of just 50, Our Ivor finally claimed a first career victory and had no trouble following up over the same course and distance under a penalty just four days later.

Trainer Michael Appleby is unsurprisingly keen to strike again while the iron is hot and, on a surface that he clearly relishes, the only real danger is that his recent exertions will catch up with him.

But given the ease of his latest six-length romp, that is not necessarily a great concern.


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