Our racing expert marks your card for Sunday's jumps action at Uttoxeter.
The 3m handicap chase has attracted the biggest field of the day with 11 set to go to post, albeit most of them are either hopelessly out of form or exposed. So the two to concentrate on are the in form pair of Ben Arthur and MR LOVE.
The former is a winning Irish pointer and ran his best race over fences at Lingfield last time when filling second spot. However, he would have finished third, and well beaten at that, had a rival not come down at the last and unless first-time cheek-pieces make a sizeable difference, I’m not convinced he’s at a winning level at present.
At least his presence helps the price of Mr Love and Lucy Wadham-trained five-year-old can surely build on his promising fourth on his handicap/chase debut at Wetherby last month. Well backed beforehand, he ran well for a long way until tiring on his first start since March and should be all the better for that run.
Bought for £72,000 after finishing second on his only Irish point start behind Monbeg Worldwide, who went on to win three bumpers for Gordon Elliott, he has the size and scope to make up into a smart staying chaser and this looks a good opportunity for him to get off the mark. With the stable’s go-to jockey Leighton Aspell doing the steering, I make him the best bet on the card.
What JUGE ET PARTI lacks in size, he makes up for with a willing attitude and he can gain a deserved victory in the 2m7f maiden hurdle after bumping into smart sorts and coming out second best on his last starts. The ground was good when he won his bumper at Bangor in April, but he’s handled more testing ground well the last twice and he gets 5lb from main market rival Game On thanks to James Bowen’s claim. I make him a shade of odds-on so the current 6/4 looks fair value indeed.
David Pipe ended a lean spell with a 6/1 winner yesterday and he should be on the mark again with QUEENS CAVE in the closing mares’ bumper, for which she’s odds-on across the board. That’s understandable given she changed hands for £175,000 after winning an Irish point in November, the form of which has been boosted by the placed horses since. While she clearly stays well, she is related to several bumper winners and the stable does well in these type of races. I’d expect Tom Scudamore to make all on her and even the current 4/5 might look big come the off.
Anthony Honeyball can do little wrong right now with Midnight Tune’s victory at Kempton making it seven winners for the stable in the last fortnight. The trainer is represented by three runners this afternoon and his best chance appears to lie with MOZO in the 2m7f handicap hurdle. The six-year-old proved a little disappointing when finishing a well beaten third over track and trip last time, but that race may have come too quick after his promising reappearance fifth here just eight days previously. He’s had over a month off since and having been dropped a further 6lb, he could easily bounce back to his best in what looks and easier race.
The big stumbling block looks to be David Pipe’s River Dun after he went close over 2m3f on his stable debut at Fontwell on Boxing Day. He would have won in another stride or two and therefore should appreciate this longer trip, although he does have his stamina to prove and his pedigree is not particularly encouraging in that respect. He looks too short at around the 5/4 mark, whereas the selection is value at 4/1
All odds were correct at time of posting.