Volpone Jelois can go one better at Taunton
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The brilliant novice Thistlecrack was given the green light on Monday to run in the King George at Kempton and is 13/8 at BetVictor to win the Boxing Day feature with stablemate Cue Card the 11/10 favourite. Remember Cue Card is chasing the additional £1m bonus for winning the Betfair Chase, King George and Gold Cup at Cheltenham in March.
Tuesday’s Taunton card is competitive with 90 runners declared in the seven races and in the first division of the Maiden Hurdle I hope to see the three-year-old Volpone Jelois (1.15) go one better than on debut when runner up at Fontwell.
A winner of four of his 24 starts on the level in France he is clearly no world-beater but the three-year-olds receive a hefty 13lbs from their elders and he gets marginal preference over Zipple Back whose yard – that of Alan King – saddled the winner of the Fontwell race that the selection finished runner up in.
In the second division, Ramses De Teillee makes his British debut having won a point-to-point in Ireland before fetching £55,000 at Tattersalls Horses-In-Training Sales back in April.
The grey has joined the stable of David Pipe and is a fascinating hurdling recruit but marginal preference is for Asum (1.45) who is fitted with a tongue tie by Dan Skelton having finished fourth at Warwick on his first start over timber.
It was perhaps too early too early to say whether he would have taken a hand in the finish, but I thought Captain McGinley (2.20) was travelling very well when unseating Jamie Moore at Leicester on his chase debut and the six-year-old is given another chance in what looks a very weak race.
Recent course winner the front-running Somerset Lias has been raised 8lbs for that success in first time blinkers and is an obvious danger if the headgear works the oracle a second time and he will ensure that it is a true test given his style of running.
One of these days everything is going to fall right for Royal Irish Hussar (2.50) and he is given one last chance as long as the ground is as currently described – good.
The ground was probably just on the soft side at Sandown last time and he wasn’t beaten too far – leading conditional Ned Curtis take off a further 5lbs and he should have the race run to suit with Hint Of Mint, 5lbs higher than when runner up here earlier in the month, likely to ensure there is a good gallop.
They go on the flat at Kempton this afternoon and Snow Squaw (3.10) returns from a 120-day absence having disappointed when beaten 16 lengths over 7f here back in August.
The selection had previously finished second, when worried out if it, and her prolonged lay-off would suggest a problem was found with the filly after her latest run. Champion jockey Jim Crowley is a positive jockey booking and a market move for the Ralph Beckett newcomer Piaffe would be worth noting.
In the second division the debutante Night Poetry (3.40) wouldn’t have to be anything out of the ordinary to make a winning debut. The beautifully-bred selection cost E230,000 as a foal and connections will be keen to get a win next to her name.
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