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The Bet Victor Racing Column
9:00am Tuesday 18th March 2014 in Sport
As the National Hunt season draws unfortunately ever nearer there are fewer opportunities to enjoy some quality jump racing at Wetherby and Exeter and both tracks offer some cracking jump racing this afternoon.
Keith Reveley’s I Got Power (2.10) can take the opening maiden hurdle at Wetherby, after being out-classed behind Nicky Henderson’s Tistory last time out but looks to have this race well within his grasp.
He has shown a strong level of form tied in with the likes of Diamond King, the Manfromminella and Pearl Castle and with nothing like that in this field and should be a comfortable winner.
If allowed to dictate affairs out in front then Whiskey Ridge is a very dangerous front-runner in the two and a half miles handicap chase however Lucinda Russell’s Champagne Agent (3.50) is becoming increasingly well handicapped and is the selection.
The 8-y-o boasts smart form in Ireland over hurdles and has been unable to put his best foot forward on the sodden ground over the winter. He is having just his third start over fences and remains one with plenty of potential.
Lucinda Russell and Peter Buchanan also team up with Settledoutofcourt (4.55) who returns to three miles after disappointing in a two and a half miles handicap chase at Ayr last time out.
His previous three performances in handicap chases at Newcastle, Kelso and over course and distance here indicated he was a progressive animal with a bright future. A line can be put through his previous effort with the belief that three miles on good ground should see dramatic improvement.
Hitman Harry will be all the rage in the bumper after his second to Mystical Dreamer at Sedgefield last November however Orby’s Man (5.25) is preferred for Charlie Longsdon and red-hot Noel Fehily; sporting after a treble at Uttoxeter on Saturday.
He was well backed for a bumper at Market-Rasen after success pointing in Ireland and was too keen, effectively surrendering his chance of winning in the early stages. The application of a hood for the first time should help him through his race and he is taken to make amends for connections that have a 32 % strike-rate at the track this season.
At Exeter Emma Lavelle’s Caulfields Venture is worth taking on under a penalty, with the yard not as prolific as they were at the start of the season and the handicapper slowly but surely catching up with her horses.
He runs under a penalty seeking his third win over fences and fourth win overall after a win in a jumpers bumper six weeks ago however Harry Fry’s Oscarslad (3.00) strikes as a very well handicapped animal and can upset the likely favourite.
He made stealthy progress when switched to handicapping when with Paul Nicholls and should come into his own over fences. Despite an absence of nearly two years the yard remain in good nick and should be able to ready him first time out.
The feature is a competitive handicap chase over three miles and Phillip Hobbs has Woodford County and Imperial Circus, however it is hoped that Richard Johnson (on the latter) has chosen wrong and Tom O’Brien can guide Woodford County (4.10) to victory.
The 7-y-o was sporting cheek-pieces for the first time when the pair combined to win a similar contest last month at Chepstow and despite a 6lb rise at the weights he looks to have further to offer for another in-form stable.
For all the latest odds go to BetVictor.com
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