Our resident tipster is paying close attention to trainer and course form for this afternoon's meeting at Taunton.
Rebecca Curtis is back amongst the winners after a quiet spell and her WILD ROVER is fancied to continue the revival at Taunton this afternoon.
The six-year-old is making his chase/handicap debut in the 2m7f novices’ limited handicap chase (2.20pm) and his initial chase mark of 120 looks more than fair considering his undoubted potential. The winner of a bumper and a hurdle, the lightly-raced son of Scorpion is likely to come into his own now he goes over the larger obstacles and he should come on plenty for his reappearance fourth at Newbury (2m4f) behind the smart Unowhatimeanharry, when he could have done with a stronger pace to chase. Today’s longer trip and more testing conditions will play to his strengths more and his stable is now in far getter form. Indeed, Curtis saddled a similar type in Imagine The Chat to score at Newbury yesterday and like the selection he was ridden by Sean Bowen.
The rest of the Taunton card looks quite tricky and the Listed novices’ hurdle for mares (2.50pm) is hotly contested. Willie Mullins sends over the unbeaten (2-2) Myska and she looks sure to go off favourite. However, she was very novicey when winning on her hurdles debut at Thurles in November and will need to jump far better here. The temptation is to take her on (or even lay her given the strength of the opposition) and Harry Fry’s JESSBER’S DREAM should offer up some value. The winner of her only start in an Irish point, she is chasing a hat-trick over hurdles after heavy ground wins at Lingfield and Exeter and confidence would be increased further should the ground deteriorate from the current “soft”.
Taunton doesn’t suit every horse as it’s a sharp right-hander and it often pays to side with horses who have run well at the track previously. That leads me on to my final two selections, both of whom finished runner-up here last time.
The Anthony Honeyball-trained DOUBLE ACCORD improved markedly when making his handicap debut here in November and the son of Double Trigger will relish the extra three furlongs he has to travel this afternoon, with David Noonan’s 5lb claim another positive. ROYALRAISE found only Saint Roque too good when making his chase/handicap debut at the same November meeting and Oliver Sherwood’s charge would have needed that run, his first since June. The six-year-old is only a couple of pounds higher here and with his stable going well he can go one better under Leighton Aspell.
Yesterday’s selections included Newbury winner Imagine The Chat, given here at 10/1 – hope you were on?!