Our racing expert marks your card for Tuesday's jumps action at Hereford.
Llantara and Flight To Nowhere, the two last time out winners in the class 4 2m handicap hurdle, have been clobbered with big rises for winning weak races last time and they are taken on with top weight SHE’S GINA.
Seamus Mullins’ mare was pretty decent on the Flat when trained in Germany and she has looked progressive on her five hurdles starts in this country. A ready winner at Lingfield in January, she was still in touch when falling mid-race on her next outing at Fontwell and showed no ill effects of that when reappearing at Wincanton 13 days, when she was only one to threaten the winner. Off just a 1lb higher mark and back down in grade, she must go close.
One Style should appreciate going back up in trip for the 2m4f handicap chase having been made to look slow over 2m last time, but he’s still a maiden after 20 starts under Rules and the ex-Irish RUN DON’T HIDE is just preferred.
The selection is also a maiden, admittedly, but he’s got a little more scope for improvement and he’s twice finished third in four starts for Paul Henderson this term, including when making his chase debut at Southwell last time. It’s hardly earth-shattering form and he probably wants a bit further given he was doing all his best work late on. However, he is getting plenty of weight from all his rivals in what is a desperately weak contest and won’t get many better opportunities.
Game On has been put in as 2/1 favourite for the 3m1f handicap hurdle on the card and this is far easier than the ultra competitive EBF Final he ran in last time. However, he’s going to be better over fences next term and, at bigger odds, I’m more interested in VIEUX LILLE on his return to the smaller obstacles.
Philip Hobbs’ charge hasn’t really cut the mustard in eight starts over fences, albeit his fourth at Newbury in December wasn’t too shabby and it also confirmed his liking for soft ground. But he should have done better when reappearing at Wincanton last month, finishing a well beaten fifth as favourite, and it’s no surprise that connections are applying blinkers on him for the first time. That combined with the change of discipline (he’s 3-5 over hurdles) and a slipped handicap mark (123 down from 138) makes him worth risking at the odds.
All odds were correct at time of posting.