13:10 Huntingdon Tue 12 November 2019
- Integral UK Novices' Handicap Chase (Class 4)
- 2m 3f 189y,
- 16 Runners
- Surface: Turf
Useful hurdler a couple of seasons ago, but hasn't shown a lot in two starts after along absence this summer; back off another break here, and plenty to prove on chase debut (although is bred for fences).
Pulled very hard but still proved too good for them off the front at Market Rasen last time, a win that gets him an extra 5lb from the handicapper here; needs more but ground fine and could stage a repeat.
Disappointing on latest start but probably didn't stay 3m at Kempton, so that is best forgiven; chances on earlier form, and generally consistent as well, so no reason not to go well now back at a trip that suits him better.
Has always given the impression that fences would suit him better, so no surprise connections switching him from hurdles pretty quickly; third at Warwick in March a solid effort and if fit after break, may go well here.
Winner at Newton Abbot in May (hurdles) and probably needed her run at Southwell last month to blow the cobwebs away; possible she can build on that, with this trip likely to suit, and not totally discounted.
Only five, so open to plenty of improvement, but may well need it based on first start for this yard at Kelso last month, never in it and pulled up; cheekpieces added today need to make a big difference.
Going nowhere quickly over hurdles but is bred to do better over fences, so possible he could do better from a low-looking mark; yard have had a good autumn too, and landed a couple of touches, so watch the market for a clue is the advice.
Placed a few times over hurdles and did win a low-grade handicap over hurdles at Exeter in May; tends to find little for pressure and not really a natural choice for fences, so plenty to prove on chase debut here.
Looked like he was in for a good season based on a couple of efforts in novice hurdles around this time last year, but it's all gone wrong since; not the worst effort at Southwell last time and will appreciate the drop in trip, but plenty to prove.
Point-to-point winner back in 2015 but yet to show anything of note under Rules; on a very good mark these days and has had a wind operation since last seen out, so there are some grounds for thinking he could do better, but risky.
Good-looking sort that has always appealed as the sort to improve for fences, and he shaped well after a break (and wind operation) when third here last month; chase debut here, and no surprise if he were to improve a bundle today.
Only five but looks regressive already, showing little and sent off big prices most starts this year; this simply looks too competitive for him.
Placed in a couple of point-to-points and did better switched to fences at Plumpton last month, only weakening late (25f); drop back in trip here likely to suit, and it's possible she's now going the right way, so further progress not discounted.
Some useful novice hurdle form if you go back far enough, but it's all gone wrong in the past year or so and he was getting beaten wickets when last seen; change of yard might buck his ideas up, but very risky at present.
Placed in three point-to-points, but beaten big distances in low-grade handicap hurdles this year; needs the switch to fences to have a dramatic effect if she's to get competitive.
Almost nicked it at Bangor last time out, a mistake at the last probably costing him victory; has ability, but this looks a lot more competitive, and he'll need a lot more from out of the handicap.
Last Year's Winner
Blue N Yellow (3/1), Master Vintage (4/1), Land League (5/1), Snowy Oscar (8/1), Witches Glen (9/1), From The Heart (10/1), Sidsteel (11/1), Pardon Me (11/1), Sandford Castle (12/1), Pulp Fiction (12/1), Pakie's Dream (14/1), Discko Des Plages (14/1), Mountain Ranger (40/1), Minella Style (40/1), Westerner Ocean (50/1), Hediddodinthe (50/1)
- Snowy Oscar
- Land League
- Discko Des Plages
Next Race Off
Ballyhill can bounce back to form to win over fences at Hereford, according to Keith Hamer - he previews the action.
Matt Brocklebank picks up the Daily Nap baton on Tuesday and he's heading for the feature handicap hurdle at Huntingdon where Alan King is fancied to strike.
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