2:25 – Soul Emotion 8/1 ew
Three runs ago he ran in the grade one long walk hurdle at Ascot, where about 5 furlongs out I was counting my money because he was making smooth headway travelling the best. He finished fifth that day before collapsing after the finish line, where clearly he didn’t stay a soft ground 3 miles, but he gave his all to the line behind Paisley Park. Nicky has been running him over intermediate trips and I think conditions and distance should suit him down to the ground. I’d like them to change tactics and make the running tomorrow like he did when he won impressively at Sandown on his British debut, running out an easy winner. Hopefully they can make use of his stamina in what should be tough conditions.
3:00 – Kildisart 8/1 ew
I’m a little surprised Kildisart isn’t nearer the top of the market and a shorter price than he is. Two moderate runs to kick off this seasons campaign at a time when Ben Pauling’s horses weren’t firing. He’s got some exciting young talent that’s come out recently but Kildisart is probably his flag bearer for the season, so he will be eager for Kildisart to return to winning ways and step up in grade. Ben Pauling definitely sees him as a graded horse so should be up to going close in a field like this, albeit off top weight. The drop back in trip shouldn’t be an issue on this ground as he’s won over course and distance on soft ground before. He’s no stranger to carrying top weight and he’s already shown he can perform when asked to carry 11 stone 12. he’s a solid each way bet for me here.
1:30 – Knight In Dubai 3/1
I wanted to believe Windsor Avenue was a machine after 2 runs over fences and looking back at his hurdles form. I was bitterly disappointed at his run where he was destroyed by Sam Spinner, who I just don’t see as a top class chaser. Windsor Avenue had excuses for that run, apparently scoping badly, but I won’t be backing him again until I see what we saw on his first two starts. This trip I feel will be too sharp for Sam Brown, as he looks a stayer and I think connections are just grabbing this opportunity to run him in conditions he will love. Knight In Dubai was really impressive on both chase starts, carries some good hurdles form with him and could still be improving. He’d be one of my strongest bets of the day and I’m looking forward to where he goes for the spring festivals if he wins here.
2:05 – Stolen Silver 4/1
Intriguing race albeit with only 4 runners, but I don’t think we’re going to see a supreme winner coming from this race. Chantry House looks a really nice horse and Stolen Silver’s run in behind him giving 6 pounds was a really nice performance. Hacked up at Ffos Las on soft ground at a course, which is renowned to get very deep. Won by 17 lengths that day and even though finishing second on his latest run it felt like he’s improving with every run. 4/1 is a decent price about a horse with strong form in a 4 runner race.
2:40 – Vintage Clouds 8/1 ew
He’s a course and distance winner perhaps back on a winning mark. His form figures at Haydock are 2F3213 over fences and has also displayed impressive wins and placed efforts on soft ground at Cheltenham amongst others, over staying trips. Dropped 2 pounds for finishing 3rd at Haydock to a well handicapped horse and down to a mark of 143. He finished second at the Ultima at the festival off 144 last year so he’s more than capable off this sort of mark. I expect he will be aimed for a big staying handicap in the spring of some sort, but I expect a bold show tomorrow. Good each way price in my opinion.