He ran a blinder when coming back after a very long absence at Wincanton just over a fortnight ago, only finding a progressive horse in Amantius too good. He has gone up 4lb in the weights and you never know how horses will perform second time up after a long break, but if he improves for the Wincanton run then he must have a fair chance in this handicap.
Spy In The Sky
She has been off for a long time after running in two bumpers a couple of seasons ago. She has ability but she will need the run, and the experience, here on her hurdling debut.
Vice Et Vertu
The drop down in class to a 0-105 handicap at Ludlow suited him on his reappearance run last month – the handicapper had dropped him 12lb for his previous two runs which allowed him to get in there off 104 – and he didn’t disappoint, winning by 12 lengths. If anything, he won too well for me, and he has been raised 13lb, which is probably a bit harsh given the way the race panned out. But he obviously comes here in good form, and 3m on softer ground will suit – it was good to soft at Ludlow, and his three previous wins were on heavy – so you have to be hopeful of a good run. Henry has his horses in good form, too.
Everyone will be aware how well Fergal’s bumper horses have been running this season and Benechenko was another for us in the soft at Uttoxeter last month. It was a close call though, as we just edged home by a nose, but I think the horses he beat are quite well-regarded – though some in behind have been well-beaten since, admittedly – and clearly we are dealing with an inexperienced horse here, whose only previous run was a win in an Irish point. This could be tough under his 7lb penalty but, as I said, I would hope that there is a lot more to come from him as he gains racing experience and he has a good attitude.
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