Taunton and Ludlow both stage interesting cards this afternoon, with the opener at the Somerset track a really good novices’ hurdle.
Romulus D’Artaix and Merehead, horses I have put up on their respective last starts, go head-to-head with Henry King, who did us a good turn at a decent price earlier in the season, so it looks a race to watch.
I’m heading to Ludlow and taking Phidippides (3:00) to end the frustrating run of placed horses we have had of late in the Horse Weigh Novices’ Chase.
Even Williams, who saddled a double at Ffos Las on Monday, holds his son of Presenting in the highest regard and the seven-year-old got off the mark over fences over course-and-distance.
He can be excused his last run on the basis that the ground was softer than ideal and he still has to prove that he stays 3m, whereas he has his optimum conditions today.
A course winner over hurdles, too, he has Hector’s Choice to beat who ran well in a handicap on his chase debut here last month.
Lexicon Lad (3:30) was unlucky to get shut of his jockey last time, when bumped by another horse on the flat, and he is worth another chance as he enters handicap company for the first time.
Another son of Presenting, so he too ought to relish the decent ground, his bumper form reads well and he is progressing over timber. Off a mark of 114 he looks capable of going close at an each-way price.
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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