Our tipster Karl Hedley provides the odds for the week's races
4-55 32RED.COM HANDICAP – 5 FURLONGS 13YDS
Cheveton has dropped like a stone through water in the official ratings and catches the eye from near the foot of the weights in this competitive race. The more rain that falls, the better for this ten year old veteran and he has to be high on the short-list. Dale Swift has partnered him to victory on three occasions in the past and clearly gets on well with him. Cheveton is already proven over this course and distance and he looks to have a lot in his favour today.
Mutafakkir bounced back to his best over this course and distance a few weeks ago and sprinters should often be followed when they hit form. This is altogether different ground but if he can get though it he looks the obvious danger. James Sullivan has won on him in the past and has once again been tasked by Ruth Carr to ride.
War Spirit is a talented three year old and his best form has come with some give underfoot. Conditions were not in his favour at Glorious Goodwood and that run is best forgotten. If Richard Hannon has him back to his best he too looks likely to go well. Cheveton has been here and seen it all before. He is a talented horse on his day and he has a solid chance.
8-45 BETDAQ 50% COMMISSION REFUND/CHOOSE EBF FILLIES HANDICAP – 7 FURLONGS
Maria Bella returns to the scene of both of her career victories to date and she was unlucky not to make it a third win at the track when she was last seen here back in August. She was involved in a three way photo finish and only lost out by the narrowest of margins. She showed a likeable and determined attitude on that occasion and she can go well again. Will Buick should know a lot more about her this time around and it will be of little surprise to see her return to winning ways for in form trainer Charlie Appleby.
Perfect Persuasion looks to be the main danger to the selection. She has a half-length to find based from when they met before and she also has a three pound turn around in the weights. She is now also fitted with first time cheekpieces and they could extrapolate further improvement. Perfect Persuasion goes well on a synthetic surface and Ryan Moore riding only enhances her claims.
Tawteen made a perfect start to her career when winning on the Tapeta surface at Wolverhampton on her racecourse debut for John Gosden. This is tougher though and she may already need upped in trip but she is far from exposed and has definite place claims. Maria Bella is at least proven under these conditions and that could be enough to see her home in front.
3-30 CRABBIES SPIFFING ALCOHOLIC GINGER BEER NOVICES HURDLE – 2 M 4 F 110 YDS
Carningli was good enough to win his first two bumper races last season including the latter under a penalty at Cheltenham. He then found the highly regarded Red Sherlock too strong at Prestbury Park before floundering in the soft ground at Ascot back in December. Tony McCoy was on board for both of his wins and it is of significant note that Rebecca Curtis has once again availed of his services. The combination has already beaten the likes of Arthur McBride and My Wigwam Or Yours who are scheduled to re-oppose and they can confirm that form.
General Montgomery was ultra-impressive when slamming his rivals at Southwell during the summer on his racecourse debut. Neil Mulholland has made an excellent start to the year and if carrying that initial promise forward he may provide the sternest of opposition.
Milord was ultimately disappointing on his seasonal reappearance over this course and distance a few weeks ago. That was his first run since May and he can be expected to improve for it. He found only Frampton too strong on that occasion but the duo still managed to pull some nineteen lengths clear of the remainder suggesting that it was quite good form. He comes here race-fit and is more than capable of making his presence felt. Carningli is taken to improve for the switch to hurdles and he can go well for an in form Rebecca Curtis team.
4-25 HARRISON JAMES & HARDIE MAIDEN HURDLE – 2 MILES 110 YDS
Bjornlucky finished third behind Be My Witness and Vaihau on his seasonal reappearance at Warwick just ten days ago. He may not have been fully wound up at the first time of asking this season, but better should be expected this afternoon now that he is fully race fit. Dan Skelton has his yard in excellent form despite the season having just started. Harry Skelton won a flat race on the selection at Wincanton last season and he will keen to enhance their wins to runs ratio.
Commissioned looks destined to make his seasonal return at this track this afternoon. He was a useful sort on the flat when trained by Mark Johnston, but so far he has failed to exhilarate over his hurdles. This race looks a lot easier than the ones he was contesting at Aintree and Kempton last spring and with AP McCoy booked at this stage, it would be fair to say that connections are looking for a massive effort. If fully wound up for the task there is no doubt that he is the main threat to Bjornlucky.
Its A Sting progressed on each run last season for Tony Coyle and has now switched to the yard of Oliver Sherwood. Leighton Aspell has been engaged to ride and they too have definite place claims given that more progression is likely. Bjornlucky has the benefit of an outing already this season and that could well swing things in his favour and he looks sure to be involved at the finish.
|WEDNESDAY 4-55 NOTTINGHAM||CHEVETON|
|WEDNESDAY 8-45 KEMPTON||MARIA BELLA|
|THURSDAY 3-30 UTTOXETER||CARNINGLI|
|FRIDAY 4-25 CHELTENHAM||BJORNLUCKY|