Our resident tipster has three horses to back this afternoon, all proven in the conditions.
Rebecca Curtis has hit form with a vengeance in the past few days after a long spell in the doldrums and both her runners this afternoon look to hold solid claims.
Curtis runs HIGHWAY STORM in the 2m7f maiden hurdle at Exeter (due off 3.20pm) and the five-year-old is sure to appreciate today’s stiffer test after finding two miles too short on his stable debut at Bangor last month, at a time when the stable was out of form. Sold for £60,000 after winning his sole Irish point by three lengths on soft ground in November 2014, he is clearly well regarded and is well worth another chance now that the stable runners are performing much better. As a point winner, he was always going to be suited by a proper test and today’s trip on testing ground should allow his true ability to shine through.
His stablemate SWEETLITTLEKITTY, who contests the closing bumper at Towcester (3.40pm), has similar credentials in that she also won her sole start in an Irish point on soft ground back in March. She travelled and jumped well throughout on that occasion to beat a well-backed favourite, who boosted the form by winning next time out, and she too is highly regarded at home.
Curtis described here in a recent Stable Tour as a “tough little mare with the ability to win her bumpers” and she should know as the stable record in such record speaks for itself: 33 winners from 174 runners (19%) over the last five seasons, with the sole runner here winning. This is quite a stiff introduction mind and Alan King’s Cajun Fiddle, who has been put in as favourite, is respected after his debut second at Wetherby. However, he didn’t appear to relish the heavy ground when asked for maximum effort close home and today’s ground won’t be much better, whereas the selection will relish the conditions.
Kerry Lee has made a fantastic start to her training career after taking over from her father Richard in August, with nine winners on the board already and seven of those have been over fences. Her KYLEMORE LOUGH contributed to that tally when scoring by 17 lengths on soft ground at Uttoxeter last month, showing the benefit of a previous third at that track, and the six-year-old should be capable of progressing further.
He’ll need to as the handicapper has hit him with a 13lb rise and more competitive handicaps than he won last time await. However, he’s still a novice and, having only won once over fences so far, he qualifies for graduation race especially like the one he contests at Exeter this afternoon (1.50pm). In truth, the 2m1f trip may be shorter than ideal but the testing nature of the track and ground help compensate for that and I fancy he can see off his three similarly rated rivals from bigger stables – which helps his price no end – in receipt of weight. Jamie Moore, who is 4-17 (24%) on the stable runners, takes the ride.