Min was a workmanlike winner of the Grade 1 John Durkan Chase at Punchestown on Sunday, but it was the third horse home Presenting Percy who looked the one to take out of the race. Pat Kelly’s stable star was trimmed from 14s to 12/1 with BetVictor for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March although we will know more about his long-term prospects after his next start which is likely to be in the Grade 1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.
The ground was described as heavy at Uttoxeter on Monday and I hope to see Bullionaire (1.40) build on his very good third at Exeter last time. The winner – Sporting John – and fourth home – Kissesforkatie – won their subsequent outing while the second – Harry Senior – lost nothing in defeat at Aintree at the weekend. Harry Fry had a couple of winners over the weekend and the hope is that the selection continues to prove more amenable to restraint with his racing.
Only four go to post for the valuable Beginners’ Chase and I think Khage will improve for the step up in trip although he disappointed at Newbury over two miles last time. Likely favourite Tidal Flow did not impress on his chase debut and With Discretion (2.10) gets the nod on her chase debut for Nicky Henderson.
The mare won both her hurdle starts last season but failed to win in three starts between the flags in her native Ireland. The selection receives a valuable 7lbs from the geldings and Nicky Henderson looks sure to have her primed for her seasonal reappearance.
At Fontwell, Manofthemountain was just making ground when coming down at halfway at Taunton last time but he had won his two previous starts and Adam Wedge, who was in the saddle for those successes, is back in the plate this afternoon. He must go close but marginal preference is for Colin Tizzard’s Christmas In April (1.00).
The selection is fitted with cheekpieces for the first time this afternoon having got going too late when 6L second to subsequent winner La Cavsa Nostra at Chepstow last time. Harry Cobden takes over in the saddle on the 7-year-old who looked a thorough stayer in south Wales.
I’m looking forward to the British debut of Gelboe De Chanay (1.30) who has joined Philip Hobbs since winning in France back in April and was described as a “lovely prospect” by the trainer in a recent stable tour in the Racing Post. The filly carries a 7lbs penalty for that victory and Tom O’Brien takes the ride for JP McManus which is something of a surprise with neither Mark Walsh or Barry Geraghty riding at Tramore this afternoon.
Eyes Right (2.30) was doing all her best work late on when staying on into fourth at Newbury on her hurdles debut over the minimum trip and today’s additional half a mile will suit this winning Bumper performer on soft ground for Alan King.
The drop back to 7f suited Loving Glance (6.15) when scoring over this evening’s C&D at Wolverhampton last time and the filly is taken to follow up under Tom Marquand with Richard Kingscote – who was in the plate for last month’s win – claimed to ride Reflektor for Tom Dascombe. Indeed, the hope is that Reflektor – who is a front-runner – goes off fast from stall one and helps set the race up for Martyn Meade’s three-year-old.