Both Star Presenter and The Informant are previous course and distance winners and this looks to be a dual between the two. The Informant was a winner last time out but has been raised 5lbs for that success and had ran four times over todays’ trip without success before emerging victorious in April.
Star Presenter is also racing off a higher mark than his last win but was fifteen lengths clear of The Informant that day and has performed with credit since being raised, to finish third and second in his last two runs.
Of the remainder, Lord Lir has bare form figures of 2-3-3-2 in his last four runs and is perhaps the most likely to challenge the above two for the honours but in each of these races he was beaten by a minimum of eleven lengths and with no wins from twenty previous attempts over fences he cannot be backed with much conviction.
Star Presenter (WIN)
Twelve year old Fruity O’Rooney has to be respected in this class three handicap chase. He has never won over a trip this far but is a multiple course winner with five wins from fourteen runs and has dropped to an attractive mark, some 3lbs less than when he last won.
Master Rajeem was pulled up on his last run at Cheltenham but that was in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase and he drops down again in both grade and distance today. He previous two attempts over todays’ trip resulted in a win and a placed finish so he has to be considered, although has only posted one win in twelve attempts over jumps which somewhat dampens the enthusiasm somewhat.
Ballybough Gorta finished behind the afore-mentioned Fruity O’Rooney last time out but makes more appeal today as he is 11lbs lower than his last winning mark and is reunited with talented young jockey Sean Bowen who was in the saddle for that last win. Although he is also yet to score over todays’ trip his last three wins came over just one furlong shorter and the way he stayed on for his last win would suggest he should be capable of winning over todays’ trip.
Ballybough Gorta (E/W)
Early market leader Rockiteer initially caught the eye having won once and placed twice in his last four runs. However he was well beaten on his last run at Cheltenham last month and has attempted todays’ trip on six occasions without success.
Nowurhurlin won on his only previous run here and had been the model of consistency this year with one win and three placed efforts before unseating his rider at Aintree last time out. He runs off the same mark as his last win today and has to be considered a danger as long as the disappointing finish at Aintree can be forgiven.
With question marks over the above two, preference is for last years’ winner Beggar’s Velvet. The only course and distance winner in the field, he was a winner last time out at Hexham and boasts a 33% career win rate with five wins from fifteen runs.
Of the remainder, Chanceofa Lifetime arrives here looking to complete a hat-trick of wins but is stepped up in both class and distance and may find a couple of todays’ opposition too strong.
Beggars Velvet (E/W if 5/1+)