The decision to switch COPPER KAY (Best price 13-2) back to hurdles looks a wise move given the selection didn’t look wholly convincing over fences at Worcester on her reappearance. The Philip Hobbs stable have hit form in recent days and their mare proved herself a very useful hurdler last term with the pick of her efforts a fine second to Snow Leopardess in the mares’ final at Newbury. Underfoot conditions should be perfect and the selection should be happier now she reverts to the smaller obstacles.
SIR DANCEALOT (Best price 3-1) is not without his quirks but a strongly-run six furlongs with some cut in the ground should be ideal for a horse which gained a confidence-boosting victory over a furlong further at this venue last time.£10 Free Credit and a £500 Deposit Bonus
The selection can be keen early on and needs to be ridden patiently, but the prospect of a decent gallop should help him settle and he could be hard to resist if arriving late on the scene travelling in his normal powerful manner.
Nobody could suggest MODUS (Best price 10-11) rates the bet of the day especially as he didn’t convince everyone with his opening salvo over fences at Bangor. However, his yard has won this race six times in the past decade with the likes of Frodon, Wonderful Charm and Silviniaco Conti and he will have learned a lot from the experience. Kalondra did little wrong in a minor Sedgefield event on his chasing bow, winning when his yard were a little quiet so he shouldn’t be underestimated.
Soft ground and 10 furlongs look the optimum conditions for VINTAGE FOLLY (Best price 2-1) judged on her fine second to Shutter Speed in the Musidora Stakes last spring and her creditable performance at Yarmouth behind Beautiful Morning last time. Hugo Palmer’s filly will be fresher than most having enjoyed a light season and a repeat of either of those two performances should make her very tough to beat with conditions to suit.
Talented chaser Charbel returns to hurdles and would be a major player if fully wound up as he wasn’t beaten when falling in the Arkle at Cheltenham in March, however LOUGH DERG SPIRIT (Best price 10-3) boasts a good record going right handed and fresh so could be the answer to an intriguing race. A flat track also suits the selection who displayed good pace to win at Musselburgh and Kempton last term and, although he was a disappointment in an Aintree Grade One on his final start, that was over two-and-a-half miles so this drop back in trip could play to his strengths.
Although an infrequent visitor to the racecourse, there was evidence the fire still burns within TOWERLANDS PARK (Best price 10-1) judged on his recent comeback at Newbury. The selection has clearly been tough to train, but soft ground holds few concerns for the four-year-old which was the last horse off the bridle in a warm Newbury handicap over 10 furlongs a fortnight ago before he tired late on. Hopefully, he will strip fitter for that outing and the step up in trip will play to his strengths.Up To £888 Free - No Deposit Required!
Tyler Saunders has made steady progress in the saddle this season but he is beginning to excel granted the right opportunities and he clearly get a good tune out of DANCE THE DREAM (Best price 10-1). The gelding was too classy for Top Tug at Leicester and rates a major threat even though he is drawn on the wing. A wide draw should not inconvenience Dance The Dream as no winner of this race in the last 10 years has been drawn lower than nine with three drawn 20 plus in recent seasons.
MR MIX (Best price 12-1), Present Man and Southfield Theatre form a powerful assault on today’s feature chase for ten-time champion trainer Paul Nicholls. The Ditcheat maestro has made it his business to ensure the trophy for the Badger Ales Chase remains in Somerset in the last decade – winning it with The Minack, Meanus Dandy and Cornish Sett – and Mr Mix looks the pick of the trio judged on his cosy defeat of Forgotten Gold last month.
Mr Mix was just a frame of a horse last year, but the last 12 months have seen the grey son of Al Namix develop both mentally and physically and he can defend his unbeaten track record with the ground likely to suit him more than his stablemates.
It is guesswork to suggest YALA ENKI (Best price 10-1) is fit following a 231-day break, but his stable is showing concerted signs of emerging from their autumnal slumber and today’s conditions look idea for a horse capable of leaving his current mark behind him granted a test of stamina this season.
His record following a break of more than 160 days reads 213 and he can’t have the ground soft enough so is one of a number which appear big threats to Mr Mix.