13:45 Wincanton

VALTOR (best price 10-1) is now a teenager but was a very useful chaser/hurdler in his prime and caught the eye when fourth on stable debut in the Listed Howden Silver Cup Handicap Chase at Ascot. That form has worked out strongly with three subsequent winners emerging from behind and he’d previously ran well to finish third in the Perth Gold Cup, too. He can compete off a 13Ib lower mark back over hurdles today, 4Ib lower than when a one-length second to the 141-rated Coeur Serein at Huntingdon. There is substance to that form too, as the third - Good Boy Bobby, subsequently won the Grade Three Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase off a mark of 146. That was his first run over hurdles for nearly eighteen months as his previous effort was in a Grade Two and, knowing that he’s sure to strip fitter for his encouraging reappearance last month, with the combination of the drop in grade and reduction in his attractive mark, the veteran has a decent each-way shout at the prices. 
Valtor - 0.5pts e/w @ 10/1

14:00 Ludlow

HOMETOWN HERO (best price 4-1) left the impression that more was to come next time when fifth on his reappearance five weeks ago, where he was still going well until making quite a bad mistake at the third last which halted his momentum. He wasn’t able to produce a challenge to the eventual winner or second, but stayed on strongly to some degree under Bridget Andrews in the latter stages to indicate that a return to this longer trip will be more suitable. That return should have taken the freshness out of him as it was his start for over a year since finishing a good fourth on hurdles debut at Warwick. He probably would have made a winning start that day, too, as he jumped to the lead at the final hurdle, only to lose his concentration and jink left, handing the initiative to the eventual winner. That form looks strong, as the runner-up Castle Robin developed into a useful hurdler/chaser and, with more to offer, this former point winner should be able to draw upon his vital experience and go close to backing up that initial promise with a bold display here. 
Hometown Hero - 0.5pts e/w @ 4/1

14:30 Ludlow

Bobhopeornohope beat a subsequent winner Omar Maretti with over a length to spare last-time-out and a 5Ib rise seems fair but TOPOFTHECOTSWOLDS (best price 11-2) wasn’t disgraced when a staying-on seventh in the Grade Three Racing Post Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last month and has been given a fair chance by the assessor off a 2Ib lower mark. His form figures in this grade or lower in this sphere reads 2F1112 and a reproduction of his second to subsequent winner Palmer’s Hill in November gives him a good chance on today’s terms. I know he has to shoulder top-weight, but he’s highly-consistent in this grade and, with Sam Twiston-Davies maintaining the partnership for this significant drop in grade, the top-weight is a live threat to the market leader.
Topofthecotswolds - 0.5pts e/w @ 11/2

15:50 Wincanton

Harry Skelton travels to the Wincanton fixture for his only ride on the card on CAPTAIN CHAOS (best price 11-2) in the Somerset National Handicap Chase instead of going to Ludlow where he could have had a good batch of rides. That could provide further clues as to what we might expect from this eleven-year-old, who’s 5Ib lower than when winning a listed event at Ascot last year. His recent form is hardly inspiring, with three pulled up efforts to his name, but it’s interesting that connections reach for the blinkers, which had a positive effect when they were last fitted on him. He comes with risks attached, no doubt about it, but he’s dangerously well-treated at present and should be ready to bounce back with a big effort now.
Captain Chaos - 0.5pts e/w @ 11/2