Our racing expert marks your card for Friday's jumps action at Fontwell.
Fontwell looks set to provide some welcome turf action following a diet of all-weather racing in the last few days, and the following horses could help us turn a profit.
Gary Moore’s LEO LUNA can be forgiven a below-par effort at Sandown last night time as he was never travelling after an early mistake and his amateur partner arguably should have pulled up him well before he eventually got unseated three out.
A winner at Plumpton previously, the nine-year-old looks to have a far easier task in this afternoon’s 3m2f handicap chase at a track where he has won twice before, including once over this distance. The forecast heavy ground holds no terrors for him either and while he can be a lazy ride at times, he has the right man in Jamie Moore up.
Bookmakers have him disputing favouritism with Wizards Bridge, another course and distance winner who bounced back to form over a shorter trip at Chepstow last time. His trainer Colin Tizzard put his improved display down to him being fresher for a break and, given his previous win also came after an absence, I just wonder whether he will be able to do it again just 16 days later. There’s also a stamina worry about him in the conditions.
GREAT TEMPO failed to progress after winning on his British/stable debut back in December 2016, albeit he was 1/25 to beat two rivals on that occasion. Still, he should have done better since joining the Pipes considering the promise he showed in France and his hefty €140,000 price tag, and it could be that he needed more time to acclimatise.
An initial handicap mark of 128 probably didn’t do him any favours either and, having been shown some respite from the assessor, who dropped him to 105, he arrested his slide with a close up third of the 14 runners at Chepstow 16 days ago. Off the same mark this afternoon and with Tom Scudamore renewing the partnership, I fancy the five-year-old can see off ten rivals, many of whom are exposed and look weighted up to their best.
Paul Webber’s VERY LIVE is going to appreciate dropping back in trip for the 2m3f handicap chase, having found 2m7f stretching his stamina when pulled up at Leicester last time. Prior to that he had finished a close up second at Warwick (2m4f) behind a well-handicapped winner, having filled the same spot at Towcester on his seasonal reappearance.
That’s respectable chase form and is better than any of his five rivals can muster, with a couple of these coming off long absences, and we also know he handles deep ground. The booking of Richie McLernon, who has guided him to both his chase victories so far, is another plus.
All odds were correct at time of posting.