Tuesday 20th February

2.40pm Taunton – Oscar Rose 3pts Win (1/1)

How Oscar Rose hasn’t won a hurdle race yet I don’t know, she’s bumped into some pretty useful rivals but today appears to be an ideal opportunity to get off the mark over timber. A talented bumper horse, she won a Listed race before finishing second in the Grade 2 Mares Bumper at Aintree behind Dame Rose. Her Chepstow run in October was good behind three useful Mares and last time out at Doncaster she was carrying plenty of weight in a handicap and wasn’t beaten far (the winer has since won a Listed race). Oscar Rose has already finished ahead of Chilli Filli off level weights and she receives 6lbs from that rival today which is a huge plus and Nicky Henderson’s Big Robin has a long absence to overcome and will likely be better over further. Fergal O’Brien and Paddy Brennan are flying at the moment, operating at a 42% and 32% strike rate in the last couple of weeks respectively. I’m expecting them to add to that here.

2.50pm Clonmel – Burren Life 2pts Win (3/1)

Monkshood was the early favourite for this race, which I didn’t agree with, but is drifting out a bit now. Based on his previous runs I’m not entirely convinced 3m on heavy ground is what he wants and for me is a doubtful stayer. Therefore I think his stablemate Burren Life is the one to be on, who’s better runs have come under testing conditions. He is a winner over 2m7f on heavy ground and his third in a Grade 2 at Limerick in December is in my opinion the best form on offer in this contest, especially considering that he lost a shoe that day as well. With the genius that is Davy Russell on board, he looks a bet.

3.35pm Wetherby – Caraline 1pt Win (7/1)

A competitive 7 runner field in which I think value lies with Micky Hammond’s Caraline. Four appearances at this track have yielded two victories and she has been in good heart over the past year. Following her reappearance run in a Listed contest in December where she was out of her depth, she ran out an easy winner here wearing a first time tongue tie. That addition was retained last time out and again ran well behind a pair of inform rivals. Cheekpieces are also added for the first time today and off a mark of 120 which I don’t think is out her reach, if they eek out a little more then I think she’ll outrun her odds. Definitely worth a chance.

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