We’ve teamed up with BetVictor and Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
The first jumps card of the season at Carlisle and conditions should be just about perfect for what looks a terrific curtain-raiser to their National Hunt season.
I am a massive fan of Double W’s (3.15) and he would be a confident selection if the race were run left-handed but he has run poorly on both starts going right-handed and, indeed, hung right at Musselburgh in a bumper.
The selection was much the best horse on his reappearance over timber at Catterick but the combination of a trip, arguably, too far and a lack of race-fitness took its toll and he was well held in second. The horse is 3lbs higher and has a bit to find on hurdling form with the returning Wade Harper but he is held in some regard by trainer Malcolm Jefferson whose last seven runners have finished 2, 2, 3, 3, 1, 2 and 3rd.
Wade Harper is a winning point-to-pointer but he actually lacks the scope of the selection but he is a real trier, goes well fresh and Tom Scudamore is booked to ride.
Ballyarthur (3.50) has a 12-month lay-off to overcome but trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has his string in cracking form and this winning pointer can go one better than his Rules debut when runner up at Huntingdon. He refused to settle on that occasion and might be a bit keen coming back from a break but is a decent prospect.
Major Ivan (4.25) has been given a chance by the handicapper and if you believe that the Jefferson horses will all improve for the run then this seven-year-old (8lbs higher over hurdles) can go close in a competitive event.
Carrigdhoun is 11 years young but starts the campaign on a good mark although he might need the run on his reappearance. Philip Hobbs brings Three Faces West up from Somerset and is taken to defy top-weight. The selection won here over timber last February and has always been considered a useful sort.
Bach De Clermont (2.20) was pulled out of Hereford’s first race on the day it reopened last week on account of the fast ground but he is likely to take his chance at Uttoxeter this afternoon with good ground forecast and occasional showers expected.
Battle Of Shiloh (3.30) is unbeaten in four starts in points and over hurdles and could still be ahead of the handicapper as he makes his chasing debut over a 2m 6f trip that looks ideal.
Tom George and jockey Adrian Heskin have had a good start to the campaign and I would be disappointed if this inmate didn’t go close with Kim Bailey’s string (Kimmy The Jetplane) continuing to run below expectations.
At Punchestown, all eyes will be on Lieutenant Colonel in the Grade 3 Novice Chase but I am a big fan of Gwencily Berbas (3.55) for Alan Fleming and I think he could up into a top class chaser.
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