15:00 Ludlow

SO SAID I (best price 4-1), in hindsight, had very little chance of competing against the ridiculously well treated Ardhill at Ascot last time out, but now back in her own sex at a track that should suit, Colin Tizzard’s mare looks to have very persuasive claims.

A game winner of a mares’ only novices event at Exeter two starts ago, both the runner-up and third having gone on to boost the form since, and even though she failed in her bid to extend the trend herself from that race at the West Country on her next outing, it’s probably unfair to label too much blame at her door. Picking up the running off strong fractions on the run to the second last, the daughter had no response when the eventual winner breezed by, but she did at least stick manfully to the task at hand and to only get beaten eight lengths all told wasn’t a bad effort in the scheme of things. Moreover, the race itself has worked out incredibly well since with the likes of Thirtyfourstitches and Young Butler winning since, and with three miles on a flat, right-handed track seemingly her optimum conditions, the six-year-old grey should be there or thereabouts.

Of the rest, the locally-trained Malaita has to come into the equation based on her solid effort behind subsequent winner Holly Hartingo over today’s course last time, while Terrestia is probably a worthy favourite considering she trashed dual scorer Dynamite Kentucky at Fakenham last time.

So Said I - 1pt e/w @ 4/1

15:15 Wincanton

Had VELASCO (NAP) (best price 7-4) jumped the last fence with a little more fluency he may have landed a competitive novices’ handicap at Taunton last time out, but his effort in defeat still has to be commended when you considered the tempo of the race and compensations awaits Tom Lacey’s gelding in this slightly less taxing arena.

Runner-up to the now 145-rated Saint Palais on his chase debut at Worcester back in October, the son of Sholokhov was a bit disappointing when a beaten favourite at Hereford next time out, but on the evidence of his more recent display, he looks sure to take advantage of his current rating at some stage. Indeed, it might well have been a different story at the West Country track had the one in front of stands not tried to trip him up at least twice on his way around the three-mile circuit and with a clear round here this afternoon, he should go very close to finally getting off the mark under rules (only career victory came in a point-to-point).

Velasco - 1pt @ 7/4

15:50 Wincanton

LEGENDS GOLD (best price 13-2) could never lay a glove on the front-running Quick Wave at Ludlow last week, but given the sort of numbers the winner was knocking out, it was little wonder, and although today’s contest is by no means a stroll in the park, she should at least be very competitive if running to a similar level over a track comparative in its layout.

A useful novice hurdler, Rebecca Curtis’ mare has translated some of her best form over the smaller obstacles to fences and her performances have all been pretty creditable against some top quality mares. Only beaten eight lengths by subsequent Becher Chase heroine Snow Leopardess at Bangor on her seasonal bow (Falco Blitz, Éclair Surf and Blaklion all behind her that day), the daughter of Gold Well then ran close to a career high in a listed race behind the massively-improving Silver Forever at Newbury next time. Although on paper she appeared to be taking a step down in class at the Shropshire venue 10 days ago, the speed figure and final sectionals of the winner strongly suggested she was involved in one of the hottest races she’s ever faced, so even though she ended up chasing shadows from two out, her effort was by means a backward step. Runner-up in a 3m4f handicap at Ffos Las last season, she clearly stays well and if it wasn’t for the fact her trainer is going through a little bit of a quiet spell, she would be an even stronger advice than she is at her morning odds.

Legends Gold - 0.5pts e/w @ 13/2