Our racing expert likes the look of three runners at Uttoxeter this evening.
DIAMOND REFLECTION looks the one to be on in the opening 2m handicap hurdle for conditional jockeys. There didn’t appear to be any fluke about the improved effort of Alexandra Dunn’s charge over course and distance nine days ago, albeit he looked booked for third when presented with the runner-up spot at the last. Given he was 4lb wrong at the weights and lost his left-fore shoe during the race, that performance was even more creditable and a similar effort here could well suffice, with the booking of James Bowen the icing on the cake.
There is going to be plenty of market interest in Dan Skelton’s Premier King for the 2m4f handicap chase given the ten-year-old is making his stable debut and has had a wind operation since last seen out. He’s entitled to improve for that but he needs to as he was a very modest performer in Ireland, where he failed to land a point-to-point in six tries, and he’s no price besides.
I’m going to take him on with Sophie Leech’s SAMSON as he has shown more than enough in three chase outings to suggest he can win a race of this nature off his current mark. A winner over hurdles here last September off 4lb higher, he’s twice finished third over the bigger obstacles, including on unsuitably heavy ground, and would have filled the same spot on the other occasion had he not fallen at the last.
On his most recent outing over 3m, he gave it a bold go from the front only to tire once headed after three out, so today’s half mile shorter trip is in his favour. I also like the jockey booking of Adrian Heskin as he booted home a 4/1 winner for the same stable last week.
There are four last-time-out winners in the closing 2m7f handicap hurdle and Zebi Boy is chasing a hat-trick after winning his last two starts here. However, he still had a fair bit to do when left clear two out on the latest of those, so it has to go down as a fortuitous victory, and he’s gone up 6lb since.
Instead, I’m more interested in CHATO on his stable debut for David Pipe and now that he is running over a more suitable trip. A bumper winner at this track for Alan King, he was a promising third over 2m51/2f when last seen out over hurdles, his second run back since undergoing a wind operation, and given how well he was keeping on at the finish he is going to be suited by today’s longer trip. Pipe is reaching for first-time cheek pieces to try and eek out a bit more improvement from him and he is Tom Scudamore’s sole ride on the card, so there are plenty of reasons to think he can go well at an each-way price.
All odds were correct at time of posting.