BLACK Buble is fancied to land the Typrecraft All Things Print Handicap Hurdle, feature race of today’s, Monday, Stratford meeting in aid of Acorns Children’s Hospice, writes David Hucker.
In an open-looking contest, Neverbeen To Paris makes his debut for trainer Harry Whittington and, as the youngest member of the line-up, may be open to improvement against some exposed handicappers.
Copper Gone West hasn’t got further than the third flight in her last two runs, but can’t be ruled out if getting her act together.
Vie Le Roi made all the running with Harry Bannister to land the event twelve months ago, but the vote goes to his stable companion Black Buble, who remains on the same mark as when beaten a neck at Kempton Park in April and will be ridden by the excellent Jonjo O’Neill Jr, whose 3lb claim reduces his burden to 10-11.
The six-race card gets under way at 2.20pm with the Acorns Children’s Hospice Charity Day Novices’ Hurdle over two miles which features previous winners Ferrobin and Onthefrontfoot.
Twice a winner, Dan Skelton’s Ferrobin was run out of it on the flat by Cardigan Bay at Warwick last month, but sets a good standard here.
Interestingly, Onthefrontfoot also had entries at Warwick on Thursday and Kelso on Sunday, but trainer Donald McCain has opted for this race.
Ashington was second to Armandihan on his hurdles debut at Sedgefield but, with the winner finishing six lengths behind Ferrobin at Warwick on his next outing, he looks to have it all to do against the Skelton runner.
Maire Banrigh, running in the well-known colours of John Hales, is set to shoulder 12-6 in the following Finnick Group Novices’ Handicap Chase over two miles and a furlong but, even with top-weight, she looks to have a good chance of landing a hat-trick for the Skeltons.
The danger may come from chasing debutant Strictlyadancer, who receives 26lb in weight and will be ridden by Adam Wedge, who has four booked rides at the meeting.
A number of the runners in the Acorns Children’s Hospice Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase have been busy over the summer, racing on ground faster than they are likely to encounter here, but one who has winning form on good to soft going is Between The Waters.
Jamie Snowden’s runner beat Pink Eyed Pedro on ground with some give in it at Fontwell Park a year ago over a trip just short of today’s two and three-quarter miles.
He has been successful twice since, his last win coming at Market Rasen in June. Ben Hicks takes over from Page Fuller this time and, with his 10lb claim reducing Between The Waters’ weight to just 10-8, he looks the one to beat.
Manor Park disappointed on his handicap debut at Newton Abbot, but might be worth another chance in the Finnick Group, Design & Print Solutions Novices’ Handicap Hurdle over two miles and three furlongs.
Easy Worcester winner The Accountant has been raised 15lbs for that success and was well-beaten on the flat at Pontefract last month and top-weight Celtic Joy is still looking for his first win after seven races,
Shantou Express was sent off favourite when second on his debut at Ludlow to Floressa, who upheld the form when beaten just half a length under a penalty in a £15,000 race at Cheltenham next time.
He has a good opportunity to get off the mark in the closing Acorns Children’s Hospice Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race over two miles, with Worcester winner Leroy Brown possibly the one for the forecast.