Our racing expert marks your card for Tuesday's jumps action at Hereford.
It could be worth giving Evan Williams’ THEATRE STAGE another chance when he runs in 2m5f novices’ handicap hurdle as he had an excuse when flopping as an odds-on favourite at Ffos Las on his most recent outing. That 2m contest turned into a tactical affair and he simply got tapped for speed at a crucial stage and was unable to land a blow after that. Previously, he was a fast finishing third over 2m1f at Exeter on his handicap debut and on that evidence he looks to be crying out for a step up in trip. With the stable’s promising conditional Mitchell Bastyan booked and taking a handy 5lb off his back, the six-year-old is taken to see off today’s rivals, the majority of whom have little to recommend them on recent form.
CARLOS DU FRUTIER was staying on nicely on his handicap debut at Doncaster last time when coming down three out and while it’s impossible to say he would have won that competitive class 3, he would have gone close. I’m therefore inclined to stick with him for this afternoon’s 2m3f handicap hurdle, especially as he was a winner over this trip at Wetherby previously. While his winning margin at the West Yorkshire track was just three quarters of a length, he was value for more having hung to the right after the last. His trainer Ben Pauling has always had a high opinion of him, saying in an October Stable Tour that he’ll progress as the season goes on having been quite weak last year, and he looks to have found him a decent opportunity to get back to winning ways.
Henry Oliver has found some form of late with a couple of winners and three seconds in the last fortnight, which has to be encouraging for the chances of his YORGONNAHEARMEROAR in the 2m2f handicap chase. The seven-year-old looks to have a good shout on form too as he won a handicap hurdle at this track last February (2m, heavy) off a 3lb lower mark than today’s and wasn’t beaten that far into fourth over hurdles at Lingfield last time. His two chase starts to date have been forgettable, it has to be said, but they came when the stable was struggling for winners and he is absolutely built to jump fences, being a big son of Scorpion and a half brother to Village Vic. Today’s contest is competitive with 13 rivals taking him on, so we get to back him at an each-way price too.
All odds were correct at time of posting.