12:10 Carlisle

METEORITE (best price 3-1) has racked up a nice sequence of results since wind surgery last year and having proven his wellbeing with a fine effort after a 237-day layoff at Plumpton last time out, the six-year-old could be another winner for the red-hot stable of Tom Symonds.

Runner-up on his first outing since his operation last January, the son of Bollin Eric didn’t have to wait too long to go one place better, landing a competitive handicap at Sedgefield on his very next start. Not seen out since March, the six-year-old proved sharp enough to chase home the race-fit The Twisler at the Sussex venue 27 day ago and with the time figure for that race pretty useful for the grade, it’s clear his performance levels are continuing to go in the right direction. As most of his best efforts have taken place on soft ground, today’s conditions should prove ideal and even though he faces several in-form rivals, he’s fancied to give another solid account.

Meteorite - 1pt @ 3/1

13:58 Leicester

Midnight River looks head and shoulders above today’s rivals based on his cracking effort behind subsequent Graded winner, Do You Know, at Cheltenham last time out, but as none of us are going to get rich backing him at prohibitive odds, the better option might well turn out to be playing DELGANY MONARCH (best price 14-1) in the ‘without the favourite’ market.

Third in an Irish point-to-point, the son of Imperial Monarch made his rules debut for new connections at Lingfield 19 days ago and despite being sent off one of the outsiders of the 12-strong field, he claimed some notable scalps in finishing a creditable third to the smart Take Your Time. Last with a circuit to run, Richard Rowe’s gelding staying on very strongly in the latter stages to get within five lengths of the cosy winner and with the speed figure coming out easily the best race on the card, his performance has to go down as an above-average one following a 338-day break. Likely to be a good deal sharper today in terms of pure fitness, he should have some sort of edge over several who arrive here making their seasonal debuts and for that reason, he may well be the one best place to chase home the Dan Skelton-trained hotpot.

Delgany Monarch - 1pt e/w @ 14/1

15:05 Fairyhouse

The handicap hurdle won by Cayd Boy at Down Royal recently is likely to have a massive bearing on this similar contest and having left the impression he would have been heavily involved in the finish but for being brought down two out, DROP THE ANCHOR (best price 7-1) rates a strong each-way choice off the same mark – especially with most firms paying four places. 

Whether he would have won for certain is open to question but he was staying on in quite eye-catching fashion just in behind the main pack and given how strong he was in the latter stages of his previous victory at the Listowel festival, he has to be marked up as being very unlucky. Based on the theory he would have gone close but for that untimely mishap 29 days ago, his unchanged rating of 129 should easily be exploited with all the factors – trip, track and ground – in his favour.

Drop The Anchor - 1pt e/w @ 7/1