Bob Tucker made a pleasing start to life over fences when a fair third at Sandown last time ( 2m 4f ), todays extra yardage looks sure to suit and the second from that Sandown race has since gone in. The handicapper may have taken a chance allowing him to run off the same mark today and with that good experience under his belt, he is handed the vote to take advantage. Tony Star is frustrating and generally campaigns over a lesser trip than today, he is plenty good enough should his stamina hold though and must be respected if the market speaks in his favour. Ohio Gold is another classy sort whom generally races over less taxing trips, he too warrants respect but stamina issues around here aren’t concerns worth risking and he is reluctantly overlooked. Perhaps the biggest danger to the selection is Russe Blanc, he looked in serious trouble last time over this trip before powering home and nailing a decent sort close home. The handicapper didn’t take too kindly to that however and his seven pounds penalty today looks a little harsh, he is open to further improvement though and has to be respected.
Bob Tucker (WIN)
This looks a warm heat for the grade and a few know how to win around here, including the selection Tutchec whom took last seasons renewal off a four pounds lower mark. Nicky Richards eight year old looks sure to go close attempting to double up in this race and hinted at a return to form behind the impressive Hey Big Spender here last time, down in grade today and with the yard having an impressive 63% strike-rate in the last fourteen days, he cannot be opposed and looks a decent bet. The potential fly in the ointment appears to be the class dropping, Green Flag. He is another winner around here and his claims are obvious based on his second at Kempton on boxing day, a reproduction of that would see him going extremely close but the fact connections allowed him to take his chance over the National fences last time is off putting and he’s taken on for that reason. Fill The Power has been well fancied a couple of times this term and proved disappointing in the events, this is his grade but he lacks the scope of the selection and is probably worth taking on in what looks a good race for the grade.
Scott Dixon has had a decent time of things of late and has provided plenty of victories on the all weather surfaces this term. His runner Spowarticus has been opposed by me in his last two runs as he can sometimes go off too quickly and rather sets races up for the closers. Today could be his turn again though as he looks to be the only front runner and may be able to set a moderate pace without being pressurised, five pounds claimer Russell Harris shouldn’t been seen as a negative either as he was on top for the horses only victory to date. With all things looked at, it would be highly disappointing should he not be in the firing line and he is taken to run them ragged. Volito is in and out but has a strong chance on the figures whilst Black Dave and Compton Place struggle to get their heads in front.
by Chris Connolly