Stratford

The ground is good for today’s seven-race card which begins with a Novice Hurdle over two miles and six furlongs. Dual point winner The Drone looked nothing special under rules including in one start over timber for Gordon Elliot – he is overlooked unless the market speaks in his favour.

Stealing Mix (2.35) is a point and hurdles winner who had not been asked a serious question when coming down five out at Sedgefield when last seen at the end of August. The selection has no great history of going well fresh but I am convinced there are races to be won with Neil Mulholland’s 8-y-old over fences and Tom Scudamore who is in the saddle today was in the plate when the horse scored at Exeter over timber.

This 2m trip might be on the sharp side for the selection but underfoot conditions are ideal and he gets a narrow vote in a competitive 10-runner contest.

Fingerontheswitch (3.40) is likely to be all the rage in the three-and-a-quarter mile handicap hurdle after his Huntingdon success earlier in the month from a 5lbs lower mark. Harry Reed is back in the saddle claiming 5lbs and I think the fast ground is the key. There is another furlong to cover this afternoon but I feel the ground is the key and he certainly has the scope to carry his big weight.

A wind operation and first time tongue-tie appeared to galvanise The Flame (4.10) who could be called the winner from some way out when scoring at Southwell (3m) earlier in the month under today’s conditional jockey. He is taken to follow up under a penalty with the slight drop in trip unlikely to be an inconvenience.

The selection is also in at Huntingdon on Tuesday and would escape a penalty if scoring this afternoon given this is a conditional jockey’s event. Mamoo steps up to 2m 6f for the first time and rates a danger for Neil King.

There is every chance the switch to fences works the oracle for Allelu Alleluia who I remember being beaten just a neck by Kalondra at Worcester a couple of years ago over timber. That horse is now rated in the mid-140s and with that in mind, I think the Jonjo O-Neill-trained seven-year-old is fairly treated for his chase debut.

That said I was disappointed with his finishing effort at Uttoxeter last time and  Everybody’s Talkin (4.40) is a winning pointer for the father and son combination of Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies and they are taken to make a winning chase debut.

The selection will get further than today’s two-and-a-half-mile trip in time but he ran well at Doncaster in a decent novice hurdle back in February. Do note he had a tendency to jump slightly out to his right in south Yorkshire and when he won his point-to-point. The hope is that he jumps gun-barrel straight this afternoon.

Warren Greatrex has saddled the winner of the concluding Bumper for the last two years and there will be many who feel he can land the hat-trick courtesy of The Wolf who is the half-brother to a number of winners.

He is likely to go off at prohibitive odds, however, and my two against the field are the once-raced Magical Miss and Strike In Milan (5.10) with marginal preference for the latter. The selection is a son of Milan and today’s better ground should suit more than the soft surface he encountered when third at Southwell on his rules debut back in February.

Market Rasen

Thistle

Over at Market Rasen, I feel Zamparelli (4.20) might be up to defying an 11lbs rise for winning at Stratford in first-time cheek-pieces. The selection jumped slightly out to the right when scoring last month and it is possible that he will be more at home in Lincolnshire.

Tips:

Stealing Mix 

Fingerontheswitch 

The Flame

Everybody’s Talkin  

Strike In Milan 

Zamparelli 

 

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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