FONTWELL 14:10 A tricky Class 3 handicap hurdle where all the five runners have some sort of chance. MIA’S STORM the likely favourite, has looked a fair prospect with two convincing wins in novice company during May. At Wetherby she readily won a four runner Mares novice hurdle by 6 lengths quickening clear inside the furlong pole. She then followed up at Newton Abbot tracking the leaders until the winning post was in sight she easily pulled clear. Providing she has maintained her fitness since that run I expect her to cope with this step up in class. MYSTIC SKY also won in May forging clear inside the last from a nice Dan Skelton recruit. MYSTIC SKY appears to be a horse that needs a test and she gets that today. This is Lucy Wadham’s time of the year for winners and again if fit after a break of 182 days I expect her to run well. MIDTECH VALENTINE was well beaten by Mystic Sky at Market Rasen in May in receipt of 11 lbs. She gets a stone today which still isn’t a big enough turnaround to reverse the placings even though today is a stiffer test. CULTURE DE SIVOLA is interesting. He wasn’t beaten that far in a Class 2 Fillies handicap hurdle and gave the impression this extra 3 furlongs might bring about some improvement. His most recent race at Compiegne was on very soft ground and I’m not sure she’s crying out for it that soft. Lizzie Kelly takes a valuable 5 lbs off and I think she can run a big race. AYLA’S EMPEROR had a recent run on the flat and performed poorly. She had two hurdle wins in the spring but now looks on a tricky mark so there may have to be another day before we see her in the winners enclosure. Mystic Sky (WIN)
WARWICK 14:35 Neil Mulholland is not to trot just now and his COURTLANDS PRINCE looks a worthy favourite in this Class 4 handicap hurdle. Unlucky at Wincanton last month he made good headway to chase the winner between the last two hurdles. Three fought out the finish and he might have won had he not drifted right near the line. He finished dh for 2nd and ended up getting demoted to third. COUER TANTRE has been fairly consistent in handicaps until his last outing where he took a tumble early and never got into the race. Prior to that he was beaten 8 lengths at Exeter and my feeling is he needs to build up some confidence before he is competitive again. BEAU DU BRIZAIS looks to be improving and having the assistance of the champion jockey should ensure he runs a big race today. My only worry is that to date he finishes weakly and therefore needs to progress rapidly if he wants to trouble the judges. WINNING TICKET makes his debut for Nigel Twiston Davies and whilst so far he hasn’t set the heather on fire, I have my suspicions that there is better to come. It’s around this time that NTD fires in the winners and with a strike rate over the last 14 days of 8 from 31 I am looking for Winning Ticket to benefit from the NTD touch. Winning Ticket (E/W)
HEXHAM 15:30 I expect MUMGOS DEBUT to go of favourite in this race however Lucinda Russell is not quite firing yet so it may be worth taking him on. 1 win in 12 attempts is not an impressive chase record and her reappearance effort ended abruptly last Saturday at Ayr when he fell at the first. BROTHER SCOTT was well beaten first time up this season at Hexham albeit the winner has since ran up a sequence and might have been thrown in. Last time at Kelso I believe he didn’t stay over the three miles and this step back in trip may be more to his liking. MY IDEA was just behind BROTHER SCOTT giving him 2lbs and with the jockey allowances he now gives him a stone. This may be enough to make things interesting but I cannot see him beating MY IDEA on these terms over this distance. REVERSE THE CHARGE looks very one paced and TROUBLE IN PARIS should need the run. I maintained earlier that Lucinda Russell was not firing yet therefore I would ignore MORNING TIME and I see the other runners as just making up the numbers. My Idea (E/W)
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