All the talk at the moment is how poor the form of trainer Paul Nicholls has been of late and with just the one winner in his last 37 runners it’s safe to say he’s not near his best however he’s still had many of the remaining 36 finish in the places and I’m hoping he can add to those with at least a place here.
The trainer sends just the one horse to Uttoxeter this Saturday and as such jockey Bryony Frost has just the one ride. The horse representing both comes here in the third race on the card where Red Risk is set to run at a venue he’s never tackled before. As a French import he’ll appreciate the soft ground and after tackling Class 2 opposition in his last six starts he’ll appreciate this drop in class. His last victory came when in this grade so that should bode well and at a current double figure price he looks generously priced as an each way selection.
Of the remainder the course and distance winning favourite Ulverston holds obvious claims and shouldn’t be far away.
RED RISK (E/W)
Trying to find the winner of a 25 runner race is tricky at the best of times let alone a maiden, yet here I am hoping that my great grandfathers saying ‘The bigger the field the bigger the favourite’ holds some weight.
The market principle Mighty Blue returns to hurdling since last being seen when finishing 3rd in the Grade 2 Mares Novices Hurdle at last years Cheltenham Festival. Since that run she had a very solid flat campaign that included entries in several Group contests and she also managed to pick up a listed race at Gowran along the way. In all honesty I have to admit she was one of my jumps horses to follow for the season and I think connections may want to get a run into her prior to another crack at The Festival. She certainly has the form in the book and if that translates she should be able to dominate a field like this.
MIGHTY BLUE (WIN)
A horse who’s a former course and distance winner, who’s now rated below his last winning mark and has one of the country’s best up and coming jockeys in the saddle shouldn’t be priced at 8/1 yet Baby Steps is. The David Loughnane trained six year old won a similar race around this time last year after a sizable absence so we know the horse also goes well fresh. He’s given a decent draw and if all eight runners lineup I think he looks a great bet to finish in the first three.
Eilean Dubh looks the most likely winner but isn’t much value at the current odds.
BABY STEPS (E/W) written by Rory Paddock