Our racing expert marks your card for Tuesday's jumps action at Taunton.
BRIDGE OF CALLY is getting his act together over hurdles and looks something to bet on when he runs in the 2m3f handicap hurdle. Harry Whittington’s five-year-old is making his handicap debut off a mark of 109 and that might underestimate his ability by some way. I’m basing that on his latest run over hurdles, a third place finish at Southwell behind Global Citizen and Euxton Lane, which is standout form in the context of this race. The winner followed up in a Grade 2 at Kempton and the runner-up has been in the winners’ enclosure twice since to earn himself a mark of 128, so it will be disappointing if the selection can’t go close in this class 4 contest.
Christian Williams has made a solid start to his training career with nine winners on the board this season and his CAVIAR D’ALLEN might be the one to take him to double figures when he runs in the 2m2f novices’ handicap chase. The six-year-old is making his chase debut here but is not short on experience of the bigger obstacles, having run six times in points, and he’s also coming off a career-best over hurdles. That came at this track 14 days ago when he found a progressive winner eight lengths too good, with a bigger gap back to the third. Given that his best run in points came on good ground, today’s better surface is in his favour and he’s also sporting a tongue-tie for the first time to help with his breathing. Plenty of positives then.
Williams’ Cap Du Nord is not without a chance in the 2m handicap hurdle as he was running well when last seen out in December. However, the one that catches the eye is Warren Greatrex’s THE MISSUS and it will be interesting to see which way she goes in the market given that she has been off for 682 days. But the yard can ready a long-absent horse and she can surely win races off her current mark (108) judging by some useful form in her novice session, which culminated in a narrow defeat in an Aintree handicap off a 3lb higher mark than today’s. Her trainer’s excellent record with hurdlers here (5-14 in the last five seasons) and the booking of Richard Johnson, who has a 24% strike rate on the stable runners, are other reasons to think she can run well. UPDATE – the selection is easy to back this morning – out to 8/1 – and that suggests she might need her first run back.
All odds were correct at time of posting.