Here are tomorrow’s six selections.
OSCARS LEADER (14:05 Market Rasen, 1pt win @3/1)
OSCARS LEADER has rapidly-improved since the fitting of a visor, which has yielded two wins and three runner-up efforts. He’s lost little caste in defeat the last three times, including when chasing home the smart Mister Coffey on his penultimate outing. This demands more, but he will receive chunks of weight from the favourite and that could prove pivotal.
OSCAR ELITE (14.25 Warwick, 1pt win @9/2)
MINT CONDITION (14.25 Warwick, 0.5pts each-way @11/1)
An exceptional renewal of this Grade Two event with several in with chances. OSCAR ELITE looked potentially high-class when hacking up at Chepstow on both occasions this term and is handed the top vote.
The form hasn’t worked out that great, but he won both races in the manner of a smart horse and he’s already proven himself to be effective on heavy ground. The Colin Tizzard yard are only 1 from 21 with their hurdlers here which is a minor concern, but he’s the top-rated runner for a reason and has value written all over him.
It’s no surprise to see connections step MINT CONDITION up in grade following a brace of impressive victories already this season. This is a much tougher assignment, but his assured strong-travelling style will stand him in good stead. He won’t lack for stamina and the ground should prove to be no impediment towards his chances.
LE BREUIL (15.00 Warwick, 1pt win @5/1)
DIDERO VALLIS (15.00 Warwick, 0.5pts each-way @18/1)
A wide-open feature contest and, from my point of view, this looks much weaker than previous renewals.
The Venetia Williams-trained DIDERO VALLIS ran a strange race in the Becher Chase last time out having been up with the pace before dropping to the back of the field, in which case looked like being tailed off. Having said that, the eight-year-old then stayed on again when the race was pretty much done. On that evidence, this sort of trip might be the catalyst for a return to form. Also, he’s proven on heavy ground and looks well-handicapped on historical form with Tom Scudamore taking the reins.
LE BREUIL is sure to have his supporters again and has to be considered, given his initial mark is well within his compass being 5Ib lower than when winning the four-miler at the Cheltenham Festival. He is the class act in the field and is very well treated on a mark of 140 having finished a staying-on fifth in this race twelve months ago when on a mark of 148. He’ll handle conditions and has solid each-way credentials.
IMPERIAL ALCAZAR (15.35 Warwick, 0.5pts each-way @6/1)
It could be worth taking another chance on IMPERIAL ALCAZAR who looked in need of the run when last seen on seasonal debut in the Stayers' Handicap Hurdle Grade Three event at Haydock. He travelled like the best horse in the race for a long way before blowing up two out and, from a 1Ib lower mark with conditions to suit, he looks good each-way material.