12:10 - Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football Mares' Novices' Hurdle (Listed Race)
There is clear favourite for this mares? novices? hurdle as Mrs Hyde sets a good standard for the others to aim at in the Listed contest. Trained by Brian Ellison, she was a useful performer in bumpers as she finished runner-up at Listed level and has taken very well to hurdling this year. The seven-year-old has won four of her five races since being sent over hurdles in July, recording back-to-back Listed wins last month. The first of those victories came on good ground at Kempton where she got the better of Paul Nicholls? Fidelio Vallis, before she then stepped out of novice company to put up a big performance at Wetherby?s Charlie Hall meeting. The ground may have been unfavourable for Verdana Blue that day, but Mrs Hyde was always doing enough to see off Nicky Henderson?s 155-rated mare despite having to concede weight. Mrs Hyde is a worthy favourite to make it a hat-trick on Saturday, but she does have to carry a penalty and is up against some unexposed rivals.
Irish raider Politesse has to be respected as she ran a good race in a Grade 3 on only her second start over hurdles last month. Trained by Mrs Lorna Fowler, she got off the mark in bumpers at the third attempt in February before making a winning debut over hurdles the following month at Thurles. The form of that maiden was boosted last weekend as the second, Gordon Elliott?s Fakiera, won a Grade 3 at Navan on Sunday. Politesse was then upped straight to Grade 3 level herself for her seasonal reappearance at Down Royal last month and the six-year-old arguably shaped best of all in the race. She travelled nicely through the contest but maybe the lack of race-fitness paid in the end as she finished fifth after not being fluent at the final obstacle. She was only beaten three lengths though and could go well making the trip over to Newbury this weekend.
However, a chance is taken on ESTELLE MA BELLE to build on her first run in Britain and take the step up to Listed company in her stride for Paul Nicholls. She began her career in France on the Flat where she won twice and ran in a Group 1 back in 2017, even if she may have finished down the field. She was then recruited to go jumping for Willie Mullins and after an absence of over two years she had one run in Ireland where she finished second in a maiden at the Galway Festival. However, ESTELLE MA BELLE was subsequently switched to the Paul Nicholls? yard and after another year off she made a winning comeback at Ffos Las last month having had wind surgery. She did not jump fluently during the mares? maiden but showed that she has a big engine as she still managed to win easily by five lengths. ESTELLE MA BELLE falls into the ?could be anything? category and if she can brush up on her jumping then she could put up a big performance on Saturday.
Another interesting contender is Galice Macalo who has won her two starts this season for Mrs Jane Williams. She has not been the easiest of rides so far in her career as she can race very keenly, but she is definitely talented as she was able to make all in her two races last month. Last time out the four-year-old was reluctant to even line-up at Stratford, but she went on to win the novice contest comfortably by eleven lengths. Galice Macalo could have the ability to compete at Listed level but her style of racing might make it difficult for her now up against much tougher opposition.
ESTELLE MA BELLE 1pt E/W @ 11/2 (General)
12:40 ? The Ladbrokes John Francome Novices? Chase (Grade 2)
This should be a classy novices? chase with many of these having fine form over the smaller obstacles and last year?s connections are back again to defend their crowns.
Danny Whizzbang took this race with ease last year with a sound display of jumping, after being sent off as the outsider. This year, Harry Cobden gets to hop aboard the market leader Next Destination, who was formerly with the Willie Mullins stable. After landing two Grade 1?s in novice company over hurdles in the 2017/18 season, this horse clearly has a lot of potential to be classy over fences too. After being off the track for 820 days, Paul Nicholls gave him a run in the West Yorkshire Hurdle (Grade 2) at Wetherby, in which he managed to finish second. Even though he will probably produce a strong performance on his chasing bow if he avoids ?the bounce?, I think experience could pay a big factor today and many of his rivals already have that over fences.
Paul Nicholls? other chance in the race is Southfield Stone. Another in this field who was a useful hurdler, landing the Dovecote Novices? Hurdle (Grade 2) at Kempton, it was clear that he was going to be sent over fences sooner rather than later. It took a while for the penny to drop for this horse over fences, hitting the frame on numerous occasions, but he finally got off the mark to win in a decent 3-runner field this season with a nice performance at Cheltenham. However, he failed to follow up next time out. Although he?s clearly a solid performer, this seven-year-old is trying this trip for the first time and looks vulnerable to being beaten again by some unexposed types with plenty of potential.
Hold The Note is yet to fire over fences but does look a smart type and is a slick jumper. After running into some difficult rivals along the way, including Imperial Aura, this six-year-old definitely has ability and already has a rating of 145 over fences, without a win. However, the fact that he is winless over the five bids so far and ran in snatches on his seasonal debut gives us little encouragement. It?s relatively easy to look elsewhere in this field but a win will happen for this horse eventually and he?s one to keep an eye on in handicaps going forward.
After a decent spell over hurdles at three miles, Nick Williams was quick to try his luck over the larger obstacles with One For The Team. After a respectable third in the Persian War Novices? Hurdle at Chepstow, he was sent off as favourite on his chasing bow, where he was set to finish second at this course but was no match for KALOOKI on the day and unseated his rider late on. Out of the Honeyball stable, Acey Milan also made a positive start to his career over the larger obstacles after taking an immediate step forward to land the spoils on his chasing debut in handicap company at Aintree. This was a decent effort on his seasonal reappearance, looking to have a lot in hand as he bolted home up the home straight. This is a much tougher ask but he could play a hand and certainly looks one to note for the future.
However, after being progressive over hurdles last season, a chance is taken for KALOOKI to back up the impression he made on his chasing debut, despite not putting in an excellent round of jumping. After clouting a few fences on his way round this track last time, he still won with ease and having that experience under his belt this time round, he may well be tough to beat if he jumps better. The second from that race has since gone on to score, so that form has taken a further boost in the right direction, and he looks more than capable of going in again as long as he gives his obstacles a little more respect.
KALOOKI 1pt WIN @ 11/4 (BetVictor)
1:15- Sir Peter O?sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase.
On first look at this race, the most striking thing is the number of entries that come from JP McManus. 16 go to post and four of them are owned by J P McManus across three different yards, all wearing the colours of the late Sir Peter, so it?s a race JP would dearly love to win. Two come from the Paul Nicholls yard, including the 2018 winner Kapcorse. Canelo represents the Alan King yard and As You Like lines up for Jonjo O?Neill with R P Mclernon taking the ride. Three of the JP runners have contested this race at some point or other, with varying degree of success. No trainer has a stand out record in the race and a whole host of trainers have sent their horses here. It is a very competitive field, this is highlighted by the favourite being 5/1, which presents a lot of each way value as bookmakers are paying between 4/5 places.
The ground looks to be getting better and better and despite racing on Friday, with no rain forecast, it should be perfect good, good to soft ground. Hopefully there will still be sufficient give in the ground for my selection. One horse who has been struggling for any form at all this season is Captain Chaos, he has been pulled up on both of his starts this season, after being given a mark of 142, due to his win at Doncaster. He has off 140 tomorrow and I?m struggling to see how he wins the race. All his wins have come in testing ground and he doesn?t look to be the same horse he was previously. Dan Skelton won the race last year and this is his only runner but barring a significant bounce back to form I can?t see him featuring here. Cap Du Nord for Christian Williams also featured last year and was interestingly off a 5lb higher mark, when you factor in Jack Tudors claim. He was an eye catching fourth on his reappearance and now gets stepped up in trip, which will suit. At the bottom of the weights he?s a very interesting runner. I would have concerns about the Trainer?s form however, as he has failed to really get started this season.
Orchardstown Cross is a real consistent performer but I just worry he is at the edge of his capabilities in this race. He has failed to really get close to winning off 130 and remains on that mark tomorrow. He will like the ground and stays the trip but I just question whether he is quite good enough to win this race. Almazhar Garde was a last time out winner and has risen swiftly through the handicaps over the last year. Charlie Longsdon has been in fantastic form and his charge?s recent win at Kelso was a good one, after disappointing on his return at Wetherby. He is untried at this trip, although watching his last performance I don?t see why he wouldn?t get the extra few furlongs. He got 5lb extra from the handicapper for that win but also had a claimer on his back at Kelso, so is effectively off a mark 8lb higher. It would be a mighty ask in a much more competitive field.
Canelo would have been run very close by Northofthewall last time out, but even if that rival had stayed on his feet when coming down at the second last, I think Canelo would have won anyway - regardless it was an emphatic performance. He hasn?t been the most consistent of performers and is now at a career high mark. I think he has the best chance out of the four JP runners and could be open to more improvement. However, I would like to take him on with something more consistent, as he is rather short in the betting. Kapcorse won the race two years ago but we have seen him precious few times since that win. He gets his first start after almost 650 days off the track and you?d be a brave man to back him at such short odds, when he has not been seen for so long. There is no doubting how dangerous he could be at his current mark off 138 but I?d like to see him show it before I backed him. He also has needed the run on each of his comebacks and this is his longest time off the track to date.
Rockys Treasure was once a Graded performer but has failed to get around on his last three starts. He was quite well backed on his last start but unseated at the first. Carrying 11 stone 12 lb, I?m not even sure David Bass, who can do no wrong at the minute, will be able to get him past the finishing line first. The two I have come down on are, Highest Sun and Doctor Dex. The latter has only had three starts over fences, winning his first start and then finishing second and was then pulled up on his last start when he was never travelling. He has beaten On The Slopes twice who has gone on to be a 140 horse whereas Doctor Dex only has a mark off 135. There could still be a lot of improvement to be had and his trainer has won this race before. The trip is the greatest unknown but I?d like to see him given a positive ride from the front as that is where he was at his best. He has won off a break so that wouldn?t concern me and he is better than his last run. However, with the question mark over trip and the competition I think he will have for a lead, I will have to leave him alone on this occasion. He?ll be one for a future race I?m sure though.
My pick will instead be HIGHEST SUN who looked like this step up of an extra few furlongs is exactly what he needs. He was a well-backed second favourite on his first start back and was staying on well despite finishing 5th. He got badly outpaced that day and the Tizzard team was in atrocious form back then. Now they are bang in form and off 136 I think HIGHEST SUN could be dangerously well handicapped. He finished only four lengths behind RSA winner Champ last year and three lengths behind Pym in different races, so his quality is reflected in those efforts and therefore this handicap mark should really be a workable one. Hopefully his jumping and fitness will have improved for his earlier run and, providing the ground isn?t rattling fast, I would really fancy his chances of grabbing a place and maybe even winning.
HIGHEST SUN 0.5pts E/W @ 12/1 (William Hill - 5 places)
1:50 Newbury - Get Your Ladbrokes ?1 Free Bet Today Handicap Hurdle.
A tasty little race this, which Champ landed in 2018 and The Cashel Man took in dominating style last year.
Nicky Henderson runs three, Colonial Dreams, Rathhill and Champagne Platinum. All three make their seasonal debuts, but it?s hard to split them in truth ? despite the difference in odds. Colonial Dreams has struggled off a mark this high before and looks set to struggle again, while Rathhill hasn?t won since his hurdling debut ? here at Newbury. He?s yet to face this trip though, and was largely anonymous in handicap hurdles at Down Royal and Cheltenham last season and that is concerning enough. Champagne Platinum has been campaigned rather strangely. He has talent, no doubt, with him going off favourite for the Kim Muir enough of a signal to show that. His jumping was much better than he?d ever shown in the Kim Muir, but his lack of consistency is enough to be put off him on his return to hurdles.
Amour De Nuit defied a big absence to bounce back with a win last time at Plumpton, but the bounce is a bit of a worry. Lord Lamington has been dropped 5lb since his run at Cheltenham last time but it?s a struggle for four-year-olds in these races and he?s a big price for a reason. Hang In There has a lump of weight even with Ben Jones claiming 3lb in the saddle, but he was a Grade 2 winning novice hurdler and could show more in this test than he has recently. Milton Harris is having a fair time of things lately and Richard Johnson rides his Jacamar, who won at Aintree in October. Heavy ground didn?t suit last time but he?s not been done any favours by the handicapper and has something to find.
Tea Clipper won at Chepstow on his reappearance in a valuable race but has been raised 7lb for that and has a battle on his hands if he?s to win again. While this is technically a drop in class he does face different types, such as the unexposed On The Wild Side. He won consecutive novice races at Hexham, and although he gets in lightly off a mark of 128 it?s tough to back him here given he has such a mountain to climb on the form book. Flash The Steel pays the price for his consistency with his handicap mark and hasn?t won since Chepstow in October 2019 off a 11lb lower mark. Christopher Wood carries top weight and that?s a mammoth task in itself for this race, let alone the fact he was beaten at Bangor last time out.
We can look to this race last year for a clue. Howling Milan was fourth off a mark of 127 in this last year and is now 4lb lower, off a mark of 123. He has cheekpieces on for the first time, hardly surprising given his lacklustre run over fences last time out, and a return to hurdling could well provide him with the spark he needs to stage a revival. This race looks to have been planned for, given how well he ran in it last year, and he?s on a pretty decent mark considering everything.
HOWLING MILAN 0.5pts E/W @ 12/1 (William Hill, 4 places)
2:25 ? Ladbrokes Intermediate Hurdle (Listed Race)
Won last year by future champion hurdle winner Epatante, I think Nicky Henderson could have another very talented mare, who will be far too good for this race. Although, she is not the only one in this field to bring some very useful form and there are several others who could give her something to think about. Milkwood, Thyme Hill, Botox Has and Sebastapool all come here in great form. Milkwood is the general second favourite for N P Mulholland and was last seen contesting the Welsh Champion hurdle, which was a big step up from his reappearance win at Ffos Las in a Class 4 Novice Hurdle. He beat a horse called Ballinsker that day by four lengths but it was a very easy victory. Ballinsiker didn?t run too badly in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham so it?s not the worse form on offer. His run in the Welsh national was a good effort but he found very little when coming off the bridle, which was concerning. Buzz was only 2 lengths in front of him and has since come out and made a mockery off his mark at Ascot. The winner has also boosted the form when winning the Unibet Elite hurdle. That was a very tough race and the field he faces tomorrow is easier. I expect him to finish in the front three but feel like my selection may be a class above.
Thyme White is off the same mark as Milkwood for Paul Nicholls. He won on his reappearance at Chepstow, overturning the very well backed Vorashann, who was bitterly disappointing. He cruised into the race and won with ease, getting an 11lb hike in the weights. He did post some good efforts last season but couldn?t make use of a reduced mark in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap at Cheltenham. He?s clearly very talented but this field has some seasoned winners. The second that day does re-oppose and gets slightly more weight on Saturday. The Pink?n gets 6lb instead of 1lb, with Daniel Sansom?s claim, he is one that has gone under the radar and could go very well. He also finished second behind Botox Has, who must carry top weight here. He also must give The Pink?n more weight, which again could increase his chances of overturning the form. Although I was very impressed with Botox Has on his last start, it will have to be a career best to win this off top weight.
Despite all these positives for the rest of the field, it?s very hard to look past the favourite. MARIE?S ROCK was favourite for the Mares Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham for a long time last season until she unfortunately sustained an injury that cut her season short. She is unbeaten on all three starts and on both starts over hurdles has exhibited a lightning turn of foot. Horses in behind her have also gone on to run well in subsequent races, Midnights Gift finished 8 lengths behind MARIE?S ROCK and is now a solid 133-rated handicapper. MARIE?S ROCK is rated 141 and actually gets weight from some of the other horses, which, when you look back at her form, looks to be crazy. She is surely far better than a handicapper and is using this to move onto bigger and better things. The only question she must answer is fitness, as obviously, she has been off the track a long time with an injury. If she can show what she did last year, then she should brush these very respectable horses aside with ease. Nicky Henderson loves her and hopefully after tomorrows win, we will too.
MARIE?S ROCK 2pts WIN @ 13/8 (William Hill, Betway)
3:00 - Ladbrokes Trophy Chase (Grade 3) (HANDICAp RACE)
Formerly and probably more commonly known as the Hennessy Gold Cup, this race has a superb bank of statistics and trends that apply to 75% or more winners of the contest.
An absolute key factor here is proven stamina, especially given the demanding nature of the test that the field is likely to face. Only Madison Du Berlais and Many Clouds had not previously recorded a victory over 3m or further prior to coming here. Of this year?s field, the only one with a slight question mark over their stamina is Black Op - despite being a Point winner, he?s not won over further than 2m5f under rules so far in his career.
Not only that, but eight of the last twelve winners has a previous win at this track to their name and every single one of them had at least two wins over fences under their belts. That?s bad news for plenty, including Ballyoptic and Vinndication, who haven?t won at this venue, and Aye Right, Black Op and Danny Whizzbang, who only have one chasing victory to their name.
With seven of the last ten winners taking part in their second season over fences, they?re a group it?s advisable to keep a keen eye on. These horses tend to improve between their first and second season chasing and are often able to exploit their handicap mark at this time of year if they have done so. This applies to many of those towards the head of the market with the likes of Copperhead, Aye Right and Two For Gold all embarking on their second season over the larger obstacles.
This also means that comparatively younger horses have tended to do well here over the years. To narrow it down, six, seven and eight-year-olds have been successful in nine of the last ten renewals. Three-quarters of this year?s field fall into the desired bracket, but some of the bigger names such as Ballyoptic (10), Beware The Bear (10), Regal Encore (12), Black Op (9) and La Bague Au Roi (9), would all become just the fifth horse since 1990 to win the race at an age older than eight.
Good recent form is also something that has stood horses in good stead over the years, in fact eight of the last ten winners had achieved a top-three finish on their most recent start. All of the last seven winners have also had a run under their belt and nine of the last twelve ran within 57 days of their previous start - this is something that is only recently becoming more important as before, the likes of State Of Play, Trabolgan, Denman and Bob?s Worth won this on their seasonal debut. A few of the fancied horses fall foul of these trends including The Conditional, who hasn?t yet been seen this season, and Copperhead, who was pulled up on his return. It should be noted, though, that he did run over hurdles there and the last winner of the race, De Rasher Counter, was sixth in a hurdle race before taking this, so that could be a new ?prep? trend starting to come to prominence if Copperhead was to take the spoils.
Given the high-class nature of this race, it?s no surprise to see that the lowest-rated winner in the last decade was rated 146 (Carruthers, 2011) and, it?s also no surprise that, given this race is a handicap after all, the highest rated winner (barring Denman?s freakish win from 174) was running from a mark of 160. Anything higher than that would take an effort that would go down in the annals of time and so the likes of Ballyoptic and Vinndication look to have plenty to do in that regard.
The final factor to warrant some consideration is the strength of the betting market in recent years. Eight of the last ten winners of the Ladbrokes Trophy have come from the first six in the betting and therefore those towards the head of the market should be favoured. There is scope to look for value in the race, especially with the last two winning SPs being 12/1, but it does still seem sensible not to look too far away from the market principals.
COPPERHEAD ? 8/9
Two For Gold ? 8/9
Aye Right - 7/9
Kildisart - 7/9
With six, seven or eight-year-olds having won 90% of the last decade?s renewals of this race, it?s no surprise that my shortlist is comprised of four horses in that age group. Interestingly, before Sam Brown was not declared on account of the good ground, he hit all nine of the trends, so connections will be cursing their luck that the weather has been so good in this past week compared to the previous one, where heavy ground was almost everywhere. Still, four places on offer with a 16+ runner field, so a four-runner shortlist should soften the below for the trends.
The Reynoldstown at Ascot last season could prove a big guide to this race, with two on the shortlist finishing first and second. Two For Gold was a distant second to winner, Copperhead, but paid the price for trying to make the first move when chasing the leader. He?s a dour stayer who jumps nicely and he made a satisfactory reappearance this season when second in a Listed Handicap Chase behind Huntsman Son over an inadequate 2m4f at Wetherby, only worn down late on after leading for much of the contest. The step up to this trip and a well-run contest will suit this second-season chaser and he hails from the Kim Bailey stable who are going great guns so far in 2020, so this seven-year-old has to be respected off a mark of 148.
The winner, COPPERHEAD, exploded onto the scene as a novice chaser for Colin Tizzard, proving at least 30lbs better over fences than hurdles and wrapping up that Grade 2 title in the process and in some style (by 17 lengths!). He found the RSA too much for him in the end, weakening three out after looking a threat for much of the second circuit, but this kind of test, especially if held on softer ground, could suit better and he has a C&D victory to his name last season. That win was a superb weight-carrying performance on soft ground, travelling and jumping nicely before clearing a few lengths away from the field in the closing stages, proving the track and ground holds no fears for him. Yes, he is 18lb higher in the weights here in a much better contest, but the Tizzard yard certainly knows the type required to run well in this (two winners and three placed horses in the last seven years) and if you can forgive his pretty lifeless first run of the season over hurdles, he certainly appeals as the grizzled type that do well in this. The Tizzard yard weren?t firing at the time and have certainly come into some good form now, so there?s every chance COPPERHEAD could go well here from a mark of 152.
The remaining two on the shortlist both ran at Wetherby?s Charlie Hall Meeting almost a month ago, with Aye Right running well in the big race itself, finishing a seven-length third to Cyrname and was five lengths behind the re-opposing Vinndication. Because this is a handicap, Aye Right is 7lb better off with that rival than he was at Wetherby, so there?s every chance that where one finishes, the other won?t be far away. The Harriet Graham-trained chaser has form on decent ground, stays well and has proven he can mix it at a very high level, so the only question that remains is whether a mark of 150 in handicap company is enough to anchor him - he was a good second to Nuts Well (subsequent Old Roan Chase winner) on his seasonal reappearance over an insufficient trip at Kelso off 146, so there?s every chance that 150 is still workable.
Completing the shortlist is the smart Kildisart, who ran extremely well in the same Grade 2 West Yorkshire Hurdle that Copperhead was pulled up in, finishing third and beating Stayers? Hurdle champion, Lisnagar Oscar in the process. He ran without the cheekpices on there, but has them back on here for the first time since he was an agonisingly close second to The Conditional in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last season. He races off a 4lb higher mark here, but is still 4lb better off with that rival, so with the ground looking to be good or good to soft at worst, things look to be playing well into Kildisart?s hands. His wellbeing was proved at Wetherby and he?s got every chance here.
3:35 - Watch Racing Free Online At Ladbrokes Handicap Chase (For the Jim Joel Memorial Trophy)
Shading favouritism for the final race of Newbury?s 2020 Winter Carnival is Moonlighter who carries top weight in the contest for Nick Williams after putting up a career-best effort last time out. Last season he got off the mark over fences at the fourth attempt with success in a novices? handicap over Saturday?s course and distance on heavy ground, before contesting the Grade 2 Kingmaker Novices? Chase at Warwick. He couldn?t get involved upped in class when finishing fourth, but MOONLIGHTER showed improved form to begin the current campaign with an excellent second in the Grade 2 Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter (good ground). The seven-year-old only went down by a neck that day to Paul Nicholls? Champion Chase dark horse Greaneteen, which was a big performance even if he was receiving 9lb from the winner. He also jumped to his left during the race, so the return to a left-handed track on Saturday should suit. A repeat of that performance could make MOONLIGHTER hard to beat at Newbury despite carrying top weight, and he also has the potential for further progress making his eighth career start over fences.
Ibleo also has Class 1 form to his name as he was runner-up in a Listed handicap at Ascot on his seasonal reappearance. That form looks to be solid with the winner that day, Dan Skelton?s Amoola Gold, going on to finish a narrow second in a competitive handicap back at Ascot last weekend. Trained by Venetia Williams, Ibleo is lightly-raced over the bigger obstacles having only had the four starts to date, winning his first two races and then finishing second on the two most recent occasions. The seven-year-old can give his all again on Saturday but the conditions might not be ideal for him. His best form so far has been on soft ground or worse and he has run below-par in his three career races where good has appeared in the going description.
Another unexposed contender is the bottom weight The King Of May who is two from three over fences for Brian Ellison. He was switched to chasing last season and the form of his seasonal reappearance at Carlisle in October 2019 now looks to be strong as he beat the Evan Williams-trained Esprit Du Large, who went on to land the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices? Chase at Sandown. However, The King Of May?s was last seen on the track in January so it might be tough for him to win this weekend on the back of a 307-day absence.
Others to note include Zanza who has run well in his three starts at Newbury over hurdles for Philip Hobbs, winning twice and finishing a respectable sixth in the Betfair Hurdle earlier this year. The six-year-old has been sent chasing this season and built on his comeback run to finish second at Warwick last time, but he will need to find more again to get involved on Saturday. Also with Newbury form to his name is The Russian Doyen who won a novices? handicap over Saturday?s course and distance in January last year for Colin Tizzard. He has not gone on from that though upped to two and half miles, so needs the first-time blinkers and drop back in trip to make a difference. One who is more exposed is the Charlie Longsdon-trained Western Miller, but he defied his odds of 66/1 to return to form at Cheltenham last month. However, he was well-beaten in this race last year off the same mark so it remains to be seen if he is able to back up his Cheltenham effort.
MOONLIGHTER 1pt WIN @ 3/1 (William Hill)