We point out three considerations for the day's action, including a hunter chaser under David Maxwell.
1. Reach for a Hero
Dan Skelton continues to fire in the winners at a healthy strike-rate and he shouldn’t have a long wait to taste success at Ludlow on Thursday. Humble Hero runs in the opening Plymouth Carvery Novices’ Hurdle and he looks a surefire future winner over timber. There was an awful lot to like about his first try at Leicester over Christmas as he travelled well for a long way when chasing home the exciting prospect Bright Forecast. He was novicey at a couple of his obstacles, notably the final one, but that was understandable and the performance showed he has an aptitude for the winter game. We know he has an engine form a Flat career with William Haggas during which he reached a peak rating of 91 (third from that mark at Windsor in June). He was better than hurdling debutant War Chief on the level and has most to fear from Idilico, fourth in a decent Haydock handicap last time.
2. Raise a glass to in-form McGuinness
Ado McGuinness is having a fantastic time of things with his small string at present and it'll be fascinating to see if he can keep the ball rolling with two runners at Newcastle on Thursday. Taceec, a recent winner for the yard at Wolverhampton, bids to follow up in the sunracing.co.uk Handicap and, owing to a quirk in the system, gets to race from a 3lb lower mark. He was due to be dropped 3lb prior to that win in an apprentice riders' race, for which he avoids a penalty. Ken's Sam's, another recent winner, switches from Dundalk and moves up a furlong in trip for the Betway Casino Handicap and the mare's entry back here at Newcastle next Tuesday gives the impression she might not be done winning yet despite being hit with a 6lb rise for her first win for the best part of two years.
3. Take it to the Max-well
A few old favourites contest the Chase Meredith Memorial Trophy Hunters' Chase at Ludlow with Beeves, No Duffer and Sadler's Risk winning 22 races between them. Little Jon can only boast three victories under Rules but he was rated in the low 140s at his peak for Nigel Twiston-Davies. Now Ben is prolific in point-to-points, while Crazy Jack and Road To Rome both line up on the back of wins in similar races to this. However, the one of most interest looks to be Marinero who bumped into Thistlecrack and Might Bite earlier in his career when in the care of Henry De Bromhead. He joined David Christie from De Bromhead early last year and struck at Ascot in a hunters' chase in March. He's not been seen since but clearly has a touch of class and looks to have more to offer on the hunters' scene for owner/jockey David Maxwell.