Following 7/4 and 5/1 winners yesterday, Steve Ryder is back with three tips from today's action.
Both Patient Dream and Strong Team come into this race having finished 2nd last time but preference instead goes to MONJULES (best priced at 9/4) who makes his stable debut for Harry Fry having been off the track 306 days. The four-year-old raced seven times over hurdles in France before making a winning stable debut for John Norton a year ago at Sedgefield in a juvenile hurdle over this course and distance.
Monjules disappointed on his next three starts for the yard but has dropped down from a mark of 107 to a mark of 98 in that time. He has now joined the Harry Fry stable who have started the season well (15-68 at a 22% strike rate) and I expect him to make a winning stable debut with Lorcan Murtagh taking off a handy 3lbs.
This looks a competitive novices’ handicap chase but preference goes to the Paul Nicholls trained MILAN BRIDGE (best priced at 5/4) who faces a tougher task than at Ascot 13 days ago! The six-year-old won three of his four novice hurdles last season before running well to finish 2nd on his reappearance at Aintree in a Pertemps Qualifier won by Remastered.
The form of that run has been boosted since with the winner finishing 2nd in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury off a 10lb higher chase mark and Milan Bridge made a ‘winning’ chasing debut over fences when benefitting from a walkover at Ascot 13 days ago. He runs here off a mark of 126 which is the same mark as he finished 2nd to Remastered over hurdles on his reappearance and I expect him to prove hard to beat now fitted with a first-time tongue tie.
Grey Dawning probably deserves to be favourite over LALLYGAG (best priced at 9/4) in receipt of 10lbs but I cant help but feel the price discrepancy between the two five-year-olds is too big. The Paul Nicholls trained gelding has form figures of 21211 for the stable including both of his victories over hurdles coming here this season. He won at short odds under a motionless Harry Cobden on hurdling debut before following up under a penalty last time by 9 ½ lengths.
Lallybag has a double penalty to contend with in this race but the talented Freddie Gingell takes off 5lbs which will help and he should hold strong claims of upsetting Grey Dawning who was a beaten favourite on his hurdling debut last month.