12:40 EBF Stallions 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle
Show On The Road and Mont Des Avaloirs have both demonstrated ability in bumpers and it would come as no surprise to see either figure for their powerful stables on their hurdles debuts. However, there are a couple here with strong hurdles form already in the book, namely Kilbricken Storm, who was debuting for Colin Tizzard when third in a novice hurdle (behind smart bumper performer Lalor) at Exeter last month, and IF THE CAP FITS. Harry Fry's charge was fourth in the Grade 2 bumper at Aintree last term (won by Lalor) and produced an exciting performance when jumping his rivals into the ground from the front at Exeter last month. He appears capable of following up under a penalty with that experience now under his belt.
Prediction: 1st If The Cap Fits, 2nd Kilbricken Storm, 3rd Show On The RoadBet £10 Get £20
13:15 Banz Carewear For Kids Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Chase
Play The Ace jumped well from the front when winning over 2m6f at Stratford last time out and is expected to give a good account off 4lb higher now dropping back slightly in trip. The reliable Triple Chief should similarly go well from the opposite end of the handicap, though it might be worth taking both on with CODY WYOMING, who has slipped 3lb below his last winning mark and returned to form when runner-up at Ffos Las last month. Any money for the returning Master Burbidge, who completed a hurdles/chase hat-trick at the end of last season, would also be noteworthy.
Prediction: 1st Cody Wyoming, 2nd Play The Ace, 3rd Master Burbidge
13:50 Z Hotels Mares' Handicap Hurdle
Chasing has been abandoned with the likeable Copper Kay, who looks to hold leading claims here on the best of her hurdles form from last season with the Philip Hobbs stable hitting their stride of late. She is closely matched on her EBF Mares Final outing with Tara View, who is a multiple winner and a must for the shortlist, while Ellens Way lowered the Hobbs seven-year-old's colours at Warwick and is interesting following a break. Secret Door and Wizard's Sliabh are both entitled to improve for their Uttoxeter pipe-opener's where they finished third and fourth on ground which may not have seen them at their best. They are both considered here, with the latter having seen the form of her Haydock Challenger Series Final victory franked earlier this week and she appears to be the Harry Fry first string here. However, a chance is taken on THE ORGANIST, who failed to fire when tried over fences during the early part of last season, but ran with credit when returned to hurdles in the spring and should arguably have finished closer than the 13-length fourth she achieved at Cheltenham last time when hampered badly approaching the final hurdle by the eventual winner.
Prediction: 1st The Organist, 2nd Secret Door, 3rd Copper Kay
14:25 John Romans Park Homes 'Rising Stars' Novices' Chase (Grade 2)
Modus was the highest rated of these over hurdles and the Lanzarote Hurdle winner made a likeable start to chasing life at Bangor last time. He has more on his plate today, however, and KALONDRA may be able to follow up his comfortable Sedgefield triumph in what will be the first real chasing test for both these competitors. Preference is for the latter who looks set to eclipse the 147 mark he achieved over hurdles in his new discipline and it would be no surprise if he was to claim some useful prizes as he continues his chasing career for Neil Mulholland. Valhalla would be no back marker on the pick of his form, but has struggled of late and it is hard to see him involved in the finish this time.
Prediction: 1st Kalondra, 2nd Modus, 3rd Valhalla
15:00 Unibet Elite Hurdle (Grade 2 Limited Handicap)
Chasing was going well for CHARBEL before a fall at the second last with the Arkle at his mercy, followed by a confidence-crushing round of jumping at Aintree, which has led to a rethink of plans for Kim Bailey's stable star. He returns to the smaller obstacles now and a morale-boosting victory is in his sights having been a leading novice when last seen over hurdles. Imperial Cup winner London Prize has been in stellar form over the summer, scoring on Northumberland Plate day at Newcastle before finishing closest to runaway winner Withold in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket, and looks dangerously treated here receiving weight from his rivals. Lough Derg Spirit was a leading novice last term and could have more to come over hurdles this term, while Zubayr is another who has been in flying form on the Flat and could pick up from where he left off over hurdles.
Prediction: 1st Charbel, 2nd London Prize, 3rd Lough Derg Spirit
15:35 Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase (Listed)
The likes of Double Shuffle, Theatre Guide and Yala Enki can be expected to go well but they are likely to find at least one or two of their rivals have more movement in their current marks. One who certainly does is SOUTHFIELD ROYALE but, admittedly, a leap of faith is required to support him following three disappointing efforts last season. That said, he is thrown in off a mark of 138 based on his second-placed finish in a Grade 1 in December 2015 and his effort in the National Hunt Chase a few months later. Paul Nicholls has a strong hand today with Mr Mix and Present Man being the pick of his trio.
Prediction: 1st Southfield Royale, 2nd Mr Mix, 3rd Present ManBet £20 and get £10 Free Bet
16:10 Jaytrack Employees Day Intermediate Open NH Flat Race
Colin Tizzard is not renowned for his bumper winners but THE RUSSIAN DOYEN, a relation to Denman, caught the eye with a fine run on his debut at Chepstow. With that run under his belt, the four-year-old could take plenty of beating this afternoon. Caribert and Earth Leader are newcomers who warrant the utmost respect, while Peterborough won his sole start between the flags.
Prediction: 1st The Russian Doyen, 2nd Caribert, 3rd Earth Leader