Early Bird – 3rd July

7:30 Stratford – Vosnee Romanee

A horse who looks to have almost ideal conditions, only lacking a recent run though for a yard that can ready one after a spell off then it is less of a worry these days. Its record over the jumps on good or faster in fields of 11 or less is 1132111131 (7/10), Sam Twiston-Davies  is also 7/10 but when booked under the horses favoured conditions its form figures read 11111131 (7/8), the 3rd place was when beaten under half a length. It is only 1lb above its last winning mark though is still unexposed in chases with a 3/7 record which was also gained in a higher class. Not been suited to the softer conditions faced the last few times it ran, it has resulted in its handicap mark dropping. With the yard in fine form it should take a lot of beating. Its main rival on form is Royal Plaza for the Olly Murphy yard, though there seriously looks to be something wrong within as their horses have been shocking in the last couple of weeks. Since the 20th June they have had two beaten favourites and another 8 priced in single figures that failed to win. In total from the last 17 runners just two have placed. I certainly wouldn’t want to be backing anything from the yard until signs of a turnaround, let alone the current favourite. Pearls Legend invariably runs well though under todays conditions though invariably finds something too good and is susceptible to a better handicapped horse. Mercian King is another that has more runner up spots than wins and is still 8lb above its last win. The danger therefore could be Oliver’s Hill who has a fair record of 5/19 including a couple of wins at this grade and showed some improved form on good ground before off the track after its 5th place last time. If the trainer can get it ready on the day then it could be the one to give Vosnee Romanee the most work to do.

2pt win Vosnee Romanee @ 11/4 widely available

2:30 Brighton – Stormbound

Not overly convincing on its return from an absence last time though it looks strongly like it was a prep race being over a trip short of its best with the small field putting emphasis on pace rather than the stamina element more suited to Stormbound who often stays on well late over a mile. Has a good record here and in general on turf. Its record when running inside 28 days on turf in fields of 9 or less is 31312. The last time it was here in this grade it won by 4 lengths off a 5lb lower mark. Limerick Lord looks a definite front runner whilst there could be some competition from Buzz Lightyere and Valentine Mist suggesting it will get a good gallop it needs. Luke Morris has won on the horse around here before, I’m expecting it to go well.

1pt win Stormbound @ 6/1 Ladbrokes