Our racing expert marks your card for this afternoon's action at Exeter.
Kim Bailey has his string in good form and his ALFIE’S CHOICE is a potential improver now stepping up in trip on his handicap bow.
The five-year-old has hardly been disgraced in four previous starts over shorter with his best effort being a third (of 15) over 2m at Ludlow two starts back. The impression on that occasion was that he needed more of a stamina test and that was confirmed when he finished a staying on fifth over the same track and trip last time.
Being a full brother to The Storyteller (a recent winner over 2m61/2f), his pedigree also suggests he wants further and if the expected improvement is forthcoming, he could prove very well treated indeed on his current mark of 110.
David Pipe’s The Two Amigos sets the form standard on his recent second when upped to this trip at Taunton on his handicap debut and is just 4lb higher here. He is feared of course but the bookies are hardly giving him away at 5/2, whereas the less exposed selection is a shade of value at 6/1. Tom Bellamy takes the ride.
The in-form Noel Fehily gets the leg up on the Neil Mulholland-trained MAGICAL THOMAS and the five-year-old looks something to bet in now tackling handicap company for the first time off what could be a generous mark of 104.
A fair handicapper on the Flat, he has taken a few runs to get the hang of things over hurdles, but he ran his best race yet under Fehily last time, finishing third behind a couple of nice types at Wincanton. Now the penny has dropped, he ought to be capable of picking up a small race or two and today’s contest looks a decent opportunity.
Galactic Power is the only last-time-out winner amongst his rivals and he probably needs to improve again to follow up, while Martabot didn’t look an easy ride when finishing runner-up here last time, spoiling his chance by hanging badly left. The pair help to make the market for the selection, who can be backed at a perfectly fair 5/1.