4 runners go here. Where (At the time writing) Minella Plus comes here as favourite. Came 3rd on season reappearance but now makes his chasing debut. The Brian Hughes And Donald McCain factor is probably the reason he is favourite having won over hurdles three times. Hasnt raced round Hexham and that steep hill up to the home straight isn't every horse's cup of tea.
Eskendash is 0 from 12 over fences and is a horse that perhaps doesn't give his all at the finish which may again catch him out at that hill when Eskendash has never raced here.
Diamond State has mainly only ever run at Musselburgh over his career (12 times in 15 races) so its a rare different venue for him. Musselburgh To Hexham are completely different tracks. Diamond State is a consistent sort. Diamond State is bottom weight here so handicapper has given Diamond State a chance.
Almost by process of elimination Saint Arvans is my selection. Saint Arvans has raced around Hexham a few times and has won his last 2 round here. Is weighted to go well. Exactly same ground conditions as his last 2 wins. The fact he has course experience around here is a massive advantage today I believe against the rest of the field you know he will handle the course.
Surprised he isnt favourite but a lot of boxes he ticks today surely he will be in contention at the finish
SAINT ARVANS (WIN)
The last race on the card and it looks like a bit of a match race between the front 2 in the market.
The other 2 contenders Graystown badly lost his way last season and is coming back from break where statistically he has never won from fresh. Is a course and distance winner though so not completely ruled out. However, will probably need the run today.
Straight Swap is also re appearing for first time this season. Is another who hasn't won from fresh. Also, will probably want some rain to be seen to best effect. (Maybe pulled out)
Current market favourite Going Mobile won here last time out. Can see why he is favourite and his profile at this level is consistent. But would I really want to be backing an odd on shot in a class 5 chase I'm not so sure.
2nd behind Going Mobile that day was Ensel Du Perche. Who was rallying late on that day. If Ensel Du Perche can settle a bit in his race. He is effectively a feather weight here with Jockey Emma Chaston taking 5 pounds of Ensel Du Perche is very light weighted here and the handicapper has given him a bit of a chance to overturn Going Mobile.
Purely for value I think the favourite is worth taking on.
ENSEL DU PERCHE (WIN) written by Luke Tucker