Trainer Rebecca Curtis tweeted on Monday afternoon that her exciting chaser Drovers Lane had sadly died over the weekend. Curtis had earmarked his return for Newton Abbot on Sunday and then on to Cheltenham for the BetVictor Gold Cup next month for which he would have been one of the market leaders.
The Nick Williams-trained Siruh Du Lac is the 8/1 antepost favourite with BetVictor having won all four starts over fences in a novice campaign highlighted by his win in the Brown Advisory Plate at the Cheltenham Festival.
Today’s action begins at Ludlow where there is a cracking jumps card on ground which was described as good at noon on Tuesday. In the valuable 3m Chase Beau De Brizais is a dual C&D winner who must go close on his return from a break, but I think this could rest between Marble Moon and Blairs Cove (1.15) with marginal preference for Dan Skelton’s runner.
I am not too familiar with the selection’s amateur jockey Mr Tristran Durrell, but I hope he can get a good tune out of Blairs Cove who ran well for a long way at Warwick last time. Marble Moon impressed me when scoring over today’s C&D last term and took another step forward when scoring at Bangor-on-Dee last time. He looks a big danger.
If Byron Flyer (2.15) jumps with the same alacrity as he did at Southwell on his chase debut, he will be hard to pass despite the fact that I thought he might be too long in the tooth at eight to make the transition to successful chaser.
In the opener at Wincanton Get The Appeal (2.05) won’t have to be anything special to make a winning debut under rules for Paul Nicholls having been disqualified – banned substance found – after winning an Irish point back in March.
The four-year-old Oleg (3.10) chased home the promising Khage at Chepstow when last seen back in April and he certainly has the scope to jump a fence. If he takes to the larger obstacles, I believe he will take plenty of beating in the 2m Novices Handicap Chase.
In the feature Handicap Hurdle Capitaine – who has had his wind operated on during the summer – will love the track and ground – forecast good to firm – but will he be too free to get home over the near two-and-a-half-mile trip? Preference is for Irish Prophecy (3.45) who made a satisfactory reappearance for Emma Lavelle at Newton Abbot and is entitled to come on for the run.
At Kempton the American bred Desert Peace (4.35) makes his racecourse debut having cost $1.3m as a yearling. The market should provide valuable clues as to his ability and he we wouldn’t have to be anything too special to make a winning debut although Mars Landing – who must overcome a poor draw in stall 13 – has shown plenty of promise.
Geranium (6.10) returns to the all-weather stepped back up in trip to 1m 3f and Hughie Morrison’s filly can return to winning ways under Dane O’Neill. The selection is drawn in stall one and the 4-year-old would not want to get too far back in the run.
Leo Davinci (7.40) drops back in trip to the distance of his Redcar win back in June. George Scott’s 3-y-old is well drawn in stall two for Harry Bentley and gets the each way vote in a competitive 7f handicap. Andrew Balding’s Indomitable was backed off the boards last time and is fitted with cheek-pieces for the first time today. It will be fascinating to see if connections attempt to recoup losses.
Good Tidings (5.55) was a fluent winner over 10f at Lingfield last time and he can defy his penalty stepped up in trip to 12f this evening at Newcastle. John Gosden’s Teofilo colt could make up into a decent stayer this winter and as a four-year-old and it will be disappointing if he cannot give weight to his rivals.