A frustrating few weeks for the column, including Sevarano getting chinned at Newbury last week after looking certain to win.
Incidentally, I saw Oliver Sherwood, the trainer of Severano, at Wincanton on Thursday and he suggested we play “guess the mark’.
I thought Sevarano would have been given a rating of no more than 130.
Needless to say Mr Sherwood is not best pleased he has been allotted 137. You won’t get many hurdlers yet to win a race sitting on that rating.
There’s plenty of rain around on Friday. Hopefully not too much for those who’ve been waiting for easier ground to now find it’s too testing.
At the time of writing Exeter is soft, but clerk of the course Barry Johnson said yesterday he expects it to be heavy by this afternoon and that’s what I’m working on.
Now the ground is a worry but they’ve declared on good to soft at Sandown and hopefully it doesn’t get worse than soft for this son of Fuisse.
His best form has come on a soundish surface and he ran well back over fences last time at Chepstow. It got pretty testing that day and he was the only one to make a go of it at the business end having been up with the pace.
He should come on for that first run of the season and a smaller field and this track should see the pace hold up that bit better.
He had some decent form over hurdles last season but it was no surprise he was lightly raced as it looked like he wanted a fence.
Something of a big baby, he didn’t run badly in the EBF Final at this track but he looks the type to leave that form well behind now switched to chasing.
Race fitness in unknown and I’d be concerned if it got too testing but he’s got the most exciting profile in this line-up and a mark of 122 may massively underestimate him.
I like both the top two in the market but Awake At Midnight has to prove he sees this out up in trip on more testing ground.
Siruh Du Lac was a winner on good ground at Newbury over the extra furlong last time but he handles soft ground and I’d not be worried if it went heavy for him. He stays, he jumps very well and he doesn’t have to lead.
A five-year-old having his sixth chase start, he could have a few of these in trouble with his jumping and we know he likes it here.
The more testing the better seemingly for Nicky Martin’s six-year-old and there’s no Some Chaos in here, as was the case at Market Rasen last time.
That horse disappointed at Wincanton yesterday but I’d be inclined to forgive him that given how the race panned out and still take the Rasen run as decent form.
Back on an easier surface, The Two Amigos probably only has Big Meadow to battle him for the lead and he has a race fitness edge on him. He's up 3lb but that shouldn't be enough to halt his progression.