Maputo was a high class middle distance stayer on the flat when trained by Mark Johnston and won a Group Three at The Curragh when at his peak a couple of seasons ago. He has retained plenty of that ability by the looks of it as shown when winning on his hurdles debut at Perth a few weeks ago. The form of that race has received a significant boost from Robin’s Command who romped home by seven lengths on hiss next outing and there is surely more to come from this son of Cape Cross.
Tangolan has been in excellent form this summer and comes here in search of a four timer for Fergal O’Brien and Paddy Brennan. His two wins at Market Rasen and another at Huntingdon have come as a result of him thriving from being upped in distance. With his confidence at an all time high, he has to be considered the most likely threat to the selection. Fields Of Glory and Florrie Boy are both making comebacks following a lay off and may just be in need of the run this afternoon.
Maputo ought to improve with natural progression and with the step up in trip unlikely to inconvenience him it will be of little surprise to see Aiden Coleman make it two wins in as many starts on board John Ferguson’s five year old.
Bob Lewis made his first appearance in almost two years when finishing runner up to Rainbow Haze in a handicap hurdle last month. This is his first start over the larger obstacles this afternoon but with that last run likely to have cleared away any cobwebs, this is likely to have been the plan all along by trainer Stuart Kittow. Despite being nine years old he has only had twenty career starts. With that low mileage and the prospect of improvement for the switch to fences, he may not have to find that much to see off what looks an exposed field.
Adios Alonso was just making his move in a race over this course and distance last time when coming to grief three from home. Rosemary Gasson will be hoping that he is fully recovered from that as he looked solid in his three previous outings. Benjamin Poste knows his partner inside out and together they have recorded wins including at this track. He is still able to claim three pounds from his mount and they look the most likely dangers. Shady Glen is still a maiden after twelve career starts but recent efforts have been more encouraging, Kieran Woods is yet again in the saddle and they too can make the frame.
Bob Lewis is fully entitled to improve for that last run on what was his first run for new connections. Nick Schofield retains the ride and the duo should prove difficult to beat.
Bob Lewis (WIN)
Spending Time spent all of last season with Colin Tizzard and was well beaten in all of those runs. Since the start of the new season he has had three outings for David Pipe and the best of those efforts came last time over two miles and six furlongs. This is a significant step up in trip for the six year old but being by King’s Theatre there is no reason to think that he will not stay. He seems to well suited by decent ground and it would be of little surprise to see him take another step forward here this afternoon.
BInowagh Bay returned to form at Cartmel last time when thumping Samedi Soir by eleven lengths. As a result he is burdened with top weight in this handicap, but if in a similar mood he will be a threat. Jeremiah McGrath is once again in the saddle and he takes a handy three pounds off. King’s Assasin didn’t get very far at this track last time when he fell at the third fence. This longer trip will definetly see him settle a bit better and as he is one of only three runners in the field to have won at this trip, he may well be able to sneak a place.
Tom Scudamore takes the reigns on Spending Time for the fourth time in succession this afternoon. He is learning more about him with each run and the combination should be able to go close given their falling handicap mark.
Spending Time (E/W if 9/2+)