None of our selections gave us a return yesterday.
1.50 – Bangor – Delusionofgrandeur. 0.75 pts e/w. Available at 16/1. (Paddy Power, Skybet – 1/5 odds first 4)
This is a decent staying handicap chase. Barney Dwan performed well at the Cheltenham Festival last season and he still has plenty of potential after eight starts over fences. Vyta Du Roc was a revelation in the first time cheekpieces when last seen at Cheltenham in January but the absence of the headgear and the jockey booking suggests he will one for another day. At a big price it could be worth chancing Delusionofgrandeur. He was well beaten on his reappearance at Wetherby but a bad mistake contributed to the distance he was beaten and he was probably committed to going faster than he wanted over a trip shorter than ideal. He had some serious form to his name over staying trips last season, including being beaten less than a length in the Grade Three Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby from a four pound higher mark than he runs from today. He handles good ground or softer and he is likely to strip fitter for his initial outing of the campaign.
2.05 – Exeter – Cabragh. 1.25 pts e/w. Available at 10/1.
Only three pounds separate nine of the twelve runners and it wouldn’t be a surprise were the winner to come from one of the other three. At the prices slight preference is for Cabragh who lurks on a decent looking mark of 109. He has been in the frame in five of his ten starts over fences, winning twice, and he is only four pounds higher than when winning easily over three miles in soft ground at Bangor back in January 2017. He has run up to that level on several occasions since and he is a horse who hasn’t made the racecourse many times. He is now a nine year old with just ten starts under rules behind him and, although that may point to him being a bit fragile, it may mean that connections will be keen to have him cherry ripe when he does make the track. He has been beaten the last two times he has been seen but they came in Military races and he was far from disgraced. Back in handicap company he can get competitive for his in-form yard under an eye-catching jockey booking.
2.15 – Ayr:
Question Of Faith. 2 pts win. Available at 7/1.
Off The Hook. 1 pt e/w. Available at 14/1. (Skybet – 1/5 odds first 4)
Conditions at Ayr look like being attritional and two that appeal under such conditions are Question Of Faith and Off The Hook. Question Of Faith was beaten a length on her return to hurdling at Sedgefield earlier this month and runs from just a two pound higher mark today. She has showed improved form on the flat this season and most of those better efforts have come on this track. Most of them have come on better ground but she has plenty of form in testing condition, including a win in heavy ground over 14 furlongs at Carlisle 14 months ago. Her partner claims a valuable three pounds in a race as competitive as this and she is still unexposed over this kind of trip. Off The Hook is still a maiden after seven starts over hurdles but her profile is one of a gradual improver and she could get competitive if she is ready for this reappearance. She makes her handicap debut from a reasonable looking mark given she has been rated over shorter trips. She is bred for this kind of distance and that could give her a few pounds in hand of the Assessor. She revels in very testing ground so the recent rain is very much in her favour.
2.35 – Exeter:
Indian Hercules. 1 pt e/w. Available at 12/1. (Coral, Betfred, Boylesports, totesport.com – 1/5 odds first 4)
Merry Milan. 1 pt e/w. Available at 14/1. (Paddy Power, Betfair – 1/5 odds first 4)
2.45 – Ayr – Chasseur De Tete. 0.5 pts e/w. Available at 20/1.