After 11 starts over fences without success, it would be quite easy to lose the faith in Othermix (2:50) but he really ought to be up to winning at Ludlow this afternoon and I’m prepared to give the grey one more chance.
Ian Williams’ classy French recruit ran in the 2009 Champion and Aintree Hurdles on his first two starts in Britain and should have made a winning chase debut at Uttoxeter that May (unseated rider with the race at his mercy).
Almost two years later, the seven-year-old remains a maiden but has some smart form to his name over the larger obstacles, most notably when runner-up to Copper Bleu at last year’s Cheltenham Festival.
The son of Linamix has been freshened up since a slightly disappointing effort in January and, with the headgear left off and his stable in decent form, this represents his best winning chance for some time.
Clonmel stages a mixed evening meeting in Ireland and The Real Article (5:00) is worthy of support in the opening 2m maiden, with Johnny Murtagh an interesting booking.
Edward O’Grady’s six-year-old won three decent ground bumpers last year and made a winning start to his jumps career in a Listowel maiden hurdle in September.
The form of that contest was boosted when the third home, Far Away So Close, won at Aintree on Grand National day and the selection ran a sound race on his return to action recently, when third to Last Instalment in a hot race at Limerick.
You would have to assume that this is a prep for the Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown in early May, but he has the class to win on the Flat and can warm up for next month’s big target by taking this.
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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