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Taunton 13:15 Paul Nicholls has been firing in the winners over recent weeks and has a 30% winning strike rate over the last year here at Taunton so his runner Volpone Jelois needs to be considered here. A winner at Deauville on penultimate outing, he returned following a four month absence with an encouraging run on hurdling debut when second to a well-regarded Alan King runner. With that experience under his belt and jockey Sam Twiston-Davies returning to the saddle in good form he looks to be the one to follow here. Casper King had placed second in five consecutive runs before a poor effort at Cheltenham in October and now has a few questions to answer, so the bigger danger could come from Zipple Back who was third behind Bags Groove on debut, in a race that has produced five subsequent winners. He is yet to taste victory but has run well enough on his two outings this season to suggest he has a race in him soon enough. Of the remainder, Pokari has won and placed over seventeen furlongs in bumpers and is the only runner in the field with a win to his name so could outrun his odds if taking to hurdles. Volpone Jelois (WIN)

Southwell 14:30 Captain Revelation has an excellent record at Southwell, posting three wins and three seconds from six runs. A course and distance winner here earlier this month, he looks sure to give a good account of himself however he’s gone up 4lbs and has only won in class 4’s or lower so may have to settle for minor honours now stepped back in to class 3 company. Philba has won three from five over course and distance but is still 3lbs above his best winning mark while Zaeem is another previous course and distance winner but has only won in lower grades, so preference is for the Ralph Becket trained Haaf A Sixpence. The seven year old won on his only previous run at Southwell, has won three and placed in three from ten over seven furlongs and has a 60% career place strike rate for all runs on an all-weather surface. He has won in higher grades in the past and with jockey Hector Crouch claiming 3lbs he is effectively 2lbs below his win here at Southwell so looks good value for an each way play at early odds of around 15/2. Haaf A Sixpence (E/W if 9/2+)

Taunton 15:20 Our final selection today is the Matt Sheppard trained Bus Named Desire and could be considered a little tentative. She hasn’t been seen since being pulled up at Huntingdon in January but was a course and distance winner in a class 5 race off a mark of 85 on good ground in November last year and followed up with a decent second off a 5lbs higher mark in a class 4 on penultimate run. She has made the frame in three from five over the larger obstacles and her trainer has a 42% winning strike rate and level stakes profit of £41 to a £1 stake with his runners over fences here in the last three years so looks a decent each way bet at early odds of around 10/1. Ballyegan has a good record at Taunton but ran at Hereford on Monday and put in a poor performance, while Edeiff’s Lad was still over ten lengths behind the winner when third over course and distance in January 2015 and has only managed one career win which came over a two mile trip, so the biggest danger looks to be Water Wagtail. The early favourite is one of the few runners to arrive with any recent winning form, having returned a three length winner at Plumpton last month. However, he has gone up 6lbs for that victory and had struggled for any recent form prior to that so a follow-up doesn’t look a given. Bus Named Desire (E/W)


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