Present Man can repeat last year's Badger Ales Trophy victory, according to Simon Holt, who has two Saturday fancies.
Recommended bets: Saturday November 10
PRESENT MAN, winner of the Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase last year, must have every chance of following up in Saturday's renewal at Wincanton.
The Paul Nicholls-trained eight-year-old carried just 10st9lb to victory under Bryony Frost that day and, despite running off just a 2lb higher mark, now gives weight away all round under 11st12lb.
That says plenty about the strength of the field this time.
Present Man, who does best when fresh, failed to add to his Wincanton triumph later on in a light campaign but was not disgraced when third to Step Back in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sundown in late April over a distance of three miles and five furlongs which might just have stretched him.
Versatile with regard to ground conditions, he is just preferred to stable-mate El Bandit who Nicholls reckons could be well handicapped.
A horse with a good strike-rate, Harry Cobden's mount made short work of Shelford (a better hurdler than a chaser) on his fencing debut at Warwick in May 2017 and can run here off the same mark as when successful in a handicap hurdle at Musselburgh two starts earlier.
However, he has been off the course for over 17 months and lacks the chasing experience of the selection.
At Doncaster, NOW CHILDREN could provide us with a last hurrah of the Flat season in the Marathonbet November Handicap.
The Clive Cox-trained chestnut won two of his three starts for Iain Jardine as a juvenile but was then absent in 2017.
Now Children returned with a victory at Wolverhampton in February for Cox but took his form to a new level when slamming the re-opposing Wolf Country in challenging conditions at Goodwood last month.
Given that Adam Kirby’s mount had to avoid a falling horse early in the home straight, his effort can probably be marked up and a 6lb rise looks lenient.
Posted at 1420 GMT on 09/11/18