Taunton stages a really interesting card on Tuesday and it kicks off with a cracking novices’ chase that could boil down to a head-to-head.
I’m a big fan of Shoreacres, but he’s been off the track for a year and may prove best over the minimum trip. With recent course-and-distance winner Qozak in opposition it looks a race to watch.
Another contest to pay close attention to is the feature handicap hurdle, in which another pair of recent course-and-distance winners, Iolith and Ciceron, lock horns.
From a punting point of view, Paul Nicholls seems to have found a soft race for yet another previous course-and-distance winner Dark Lover (2:30) who should have little trouble in defying a 7lb penalty.
The very useful Ryan Mahon takes off a handy 5lbs and the young jockey can cap a tremendous day, by doubling up in the hunters’ chase aboard Just Amazing (4:15).
A winner for this column just four days ago at Sandown, where he jumped really well bar the third last, the eight-year-old needs to finish in the first two here to qualify for the Cheltenham Foxhunters’ in three weeks time.
With the step up in trip and the relatively decent ground in his favour, connections will surely be disappointed if he doesn’t follow up.
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Last year’s selections included:
Hurricane Fly: 3/1 winner of the G1 Rabobank Champion Hurdle
Copper Bleu: 12/1 winner of the Jewson at Cheltenham
Great Endeavour: 18/1 winner of the Festival Plate
Tranguil Sea: 11/2 winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup
Sizing Europe: 6/1 winner of the Arkle
Weapon’s Amnesty: 10/1 winner of the RSA Chase