Exeter - Sunday 10th January
EXETER 3.10 Handicap Chase - Class 3 - 3 miles 54 yards - 14 Run - Soft
A competitive race and one where I want to take on the top end of the market. The race is a tad compromised by 3 non runner, all who ran yesterday but were declared here in case Chepstow was off, fair enough and the market has had a chance to re-form.
Normandy Soldier is an inexperienced Chaser, ex P2P but short in terms of price for what it has achieved so far. Strictlydancer is a Course and Distance winner off a mark of 102 in Class 4, upped in Grade and there are no mugs in here and off 110, not great value in my eyes and Muckamore is another ex P2P horse who runs in only its 2nd Chase and whilst one with potential, one I want to take on with something a bit more experienced.
Of those Crossley Tender is admirably consistent and form figures of 11123 show that. Has risen from 101 to 117 and will be a big danger still off a mark of 117 and likely a solid place prospect. Mr Clarkson is a Course winner who fell when leading last time, Course win was over 2 miles over Hurdles and may just find a few too good here on the balance of form.Samuel Jackson is a Course and Distance winner has had 2 hurdle runs after a near 2 year break, some promise but I would want to see a bit more before investing again.
That leaves me with 3 that I really fancy on the terms and conditions of the race today.
FORTESCUE is a Course and Distance winner for Henry Daly. A couple of runs and indications it is running in to form and fitness now, wins off 117 and 121 and only thing that puts me off is the mark today of 130. He'll be my Tricast Perm horse and reserve if a non runner.
SANDY BOY is inexperienced compared to some but 2 decent Chase runs and very few indications that it can't jump, looks solid and stamina is assured as is ability on most types of Going. I think it is overpriced purely on slightly less favourable Hurdle mark than a few of those at the top end with a bit more scope, but the signs are it can pick up a race like this for the Hobbs and Johnson team.
At big odds I think DANCING SHADOW is way too big in price. Proven Course and Distance specialist, proven over further, fine on Soft or worse and if they go off a yard too fast, has a pilot who won't panic, and one that can stay on and on up that hill.
TIP - SANDY BOY / Tracker - Dancing Shadow (Tricast - Fortescue)
Exeter 1.10 Handicap Hurdle - Class 4 - 2 miles 7 Furlongs - Soft (Conditional Jockeys)
As with the other race not sure the top end is great value.
Honest Exchange ran yesterday, Storm Force Ben is the one to beat but best so far over shorter, Lady KK too has form so far over shorter and although a P2P recruit the P2P career was hardly compelling. The biggest fear at the short end of the market is SANDYMOUNT ROSE 22222 shows consistency, trips from 2 miles 2 furlongs to 2 miles 7 furlongs, just a niggl about the trip here, looks an each way banker IF you want a saver and a Tricast horse too.
Boro Babe is an ex Flat horse who takes a big hike in trip but being niggled at and that's a danger sign as we have seen a few times recently but I can't back it on proven evidence. Evenstevens comes from a dangerous Yard in this type of race, one Donny run stands out but has not been repeated but one to fear too.Jully Les Buxy is a Course and Distance winner, a mark of 102 in April 2018, runs off 109 here and may need more time and runs to reach peak but one to drop in the notebook for when the mar drops and fitter.
I'm VERY keen on DUSKY HERCULES for David Pipe. Course and Distance winner here in Soft off a mark of 105, hated Heavy conditions at Ffos Llas and Chepstow, where heavy can mean bottomless so we'll give it another chance back here on better Going off a mark of 107 with a good 3 lbs Claimer up. I think it's overpriced.
One at big odds I think is vastly overpriced is FLOWING CADENZA , Pulled up on seasonal debut but bang in contention until clouting 3 fence from home, that had happened here on last run of last season when going similarly well. You have to take on trust it'll cut out the errors but form of 2 runs prior to those, winning and runner up off a mark of 100 and 107 respectively shows ability and clearly stamina and Going no excuse. Off 106 if it jumps round, I think it's double the price it should be.
TIP - DUSKY HERCULES - Tracker - Flowing Cadenza. (Tricast Sandymount Rose)
A "contrarian view" on the day as always, let's hope it pays off with some profit.