Winningtry can score in the opener at Taunton

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Second season novices have an excellent record in the Hennessy Gold Cup and Blaklion (8s from 10s) and Henri Parry Morgan (10s from 14s) were the best-backed horses on Wednesday morning with BetVictor for Newbury’s Saturday showpiece.

With Musselburgh having fallen foul to the frost on Wednesday we start at Taunton where Winningtry (12.45) can land the opener having travelled like the best horse for much of the race at Aintree over an additional half-mile last time.

The drop back to the minimum trip will suit the Paul Nicholls-trained five-year-old who was an impressive Bumper winner at Wincanton back in the spring.

Fort Worth (1.45) has been knocking on the door of late and he can finally get his head in front over fences in the valuable staying handicap chase for Jonjo O’Neill.

The selection barely gets three miles and today’s sharp track and trip just shy of three-miles should suit the son of Presenting who has ideal underfoot conditions.

Somerset Lias (2.55) is a long-standing maiden but he has run some of his best races around Taunton’s tight turns and if getting a soft lead could take some pegging back with regular pilot Liam Heard in the saddle.

Lets Go Duchess (3.25) travelled well but was worried out of it at Wincanton earlier in the month but she is another who is taken to shed her maiden tag for local trainer Kevin Bishop. Conor Smith, who was in the saddle last time, keep the ride on a mare who is 2lbs well-in on official figures.

There is a cracking listed chase at Thurles and Wounded Warrior (1.00) can make a winning reappearance for Noel Meade with the former Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Champagne Fever likely to be ring-rusty coming back from a 576-day lay-off.

The selection is 20/1 for the Becher Chase at Aintree on Saturday week and might prefer a stiffer test than today’s 2m 6f trip on decent ground but he is a horse I think could have a decent season and is one to keep on the right side of for staying handicap chases this term.

At Towcester, Money Maid (2.45) can go well fresh and she should appreciate today’s stiff track over an extended 2m 5f.

The mare has not been seen out since finishing runner up at Market Rasen back in December but connections have found a good opportunity if she is ready for her seasonal bow.

Elkstone (1.05) was too keen but in the process of making a decent chase debut when coming down three out over three miles at Huntingdon returning from a break and it would be no surprise to see Adam Pogson try and make all dropping back to the minimum trip as long as he is non-the-worse for those exertions.

Scottsdale (3.45) attracted significant support at Huntingdon on debut and left the impression he would be a different proposition with that experience (fourth beaten four lengths) under his belt.

His young jockey won a similar event for the yard at Warwick last month and he gets the nod in front of Nelson’s Touch who is another who made a promising start to his career at Exeter last month.

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