1.50pm Newbury – Lough Derg Farmer 2pts Win (11/2)
Barters Hill makes his much anticipated return in this contest and he will be the main focus of attention. On old form this mark of 142 looks on the lenient side and I’ll be happy to see him win at his ever shortening price, but there are plenty of risks attached and because he’s the main focal point of the race, I believe Lough Derg Farmer is being overlooked. He looked like a promising young stayer over hurdles last season, gaining two victories and just over a 2 length defeat to the now rated 145 (over fences) Testify. His chasing debut was a complete car crash at Ascot, he was jumping severely left and just didn’t get involved in the race. He’s a swift jumper of a hurdle and back on a left handed track over the smaller obstacles will suit. Cheekpieces have been applied today to get his mind on the job and he looks to be on a decent mark of 133, if Barters Hill fluffs his lines, Nicky Henderson’s charge can be the one to capitalise.
2.30pm Uttoxeter – Mr Love 2pts Win (11/4)
Having had just the 5 starts under rules for Lucy Wadham, this son of Winged Love remains unexposed and particularly so over fences. Second in his Point To Point behind the useful Monbeg Worldwide is a good indicator that his career should take off over the larger obstacles. A moderate fourth on chase debut was a touch disappointing but his narrow third last time out at Leicester was much more encouraging when 16 lengths clear of the fourth. Off the same mark here he can get his head in front for the first time.
3.05pm Uttoxeter – Angel Of Harlem 1pt Each Way (7/1)
A number of youngsters in this race, but Angel Of Harlem is the really unexposed one and this opening mark of 109 looks plenty low enough to see her figure. She was beaten 44 lengths on hurdles debut, but that was good enough to finish fourth in what was a hot race and next time out she improved on that to be second behind a promising sort of Alan King’s who was a previous winner. That was on heavy ground so we know she handles the conditions and she put about 12 lengths between herself and the third after the back of the last so this extra couple of furlongs should bring her stamina into play. Her Dam was a Listed winner for Nicky Henderson so she’s bred to be decent and hopefully she’ll prove ahead of the handicapper today.
3.50pm Warwick – Just A Thought 2pts Win (4/1)
Just A Thought has proved to be a very consistent mare for Rebecca Curtis so far in her short career, having never finished outside of the first three. She makes her handicap debut today off a mark of 117, now I don’t think she’s chucked in, but she’s not far from it. Just going back through her form she has been behind Cap Soleil, If You Say Run, Station Master and Midnight Tune who are all good horses. This is a weaker race than she’s been contesting recently and with Aidan Coleman taking over the reigns today, I’m expecting a big run.