Vivant Poeme can be another winner for in-form Harry Fry
Windsor and Newton Abbot are sharing evening racing duties and the latter track provides the day’s best bet
Harry Fry’s VIVANT POEME, who contests the 2m6f handicap hurdle (6.35pm), has been showing progressive form over hurdles this season and went closest when beaten less than two lengths into third behind Seaviper at Ludlow last time. That was a decent race for the Welsh track and the way he was finishing over the 2m5f trip suggests he will relish today’s extra furlong. Handicaps were always going to be his best chance of success and he starts off here on what looks a very fair mark of 114 against some more exposed rivals. His trainer has been amongst the winners of late and Noel Fehily is booked to do the steering. It will be disappointing if he’s beaten, though I’ve a healthy respect to for Peter Bowen’s The Road Ahead.
At bigger odds it could be with chancing a few quid each-way on Seamus Mullins’ BAHUMBUG who runs in the 2m1f handicap hurdle for novices run earlier on the card (5.35pm). He has shown precious little on his four stats over hurdles this season but this is the first time he’s encountered good ground and his flat pedigree suggests he might be improve for it. It’s a race that won’t take much winning with nothing holding entirely convincing claims and his stable is going well right now, with the trainer’s last seven runners over jumps finishing 1222513.
Good ground is also in evidence at Kempton and the best bet on the seven-race card looks to be SHY JOHN, who is bidding to follow-up a recent Taunton success off just 4lb higher in the 3m handicap chase (4.00pm). That weight rise is wiped out by his rider Lewis Gordon’s 7lb claim and the young conditional has already guided him to a head second to Shuil Royale at Ludlow back in February. That looks decent form as the winner has gone in again since and, now he’s got his head in front, further improvement is likely from the lightly-raced nine-year-old. He’s up in class here, admittedly, but gets weight all round and, just as important, he is proven on the surface, while most of rivals have question marks over them.