(2.10) Judge Earle, a bumper winner at Sedgefield on May 17, returns after a 76-day break and wind surgery. He has run moderately in most of his hurdle attempts apart from his initial run at Wetherby in October last. Hopefully, he bounces back to his best form and benefits from the time off the track and the op. On his best form, he would have a chance. Stay In Touch ran well for my last day and may prove the danger with hurdling debutant, My Brother.
(2.40) Petite Ganache was favourite to win at Uttoxeter in late June on the back of a previous good run at Ayr in May wearing first-time blinkers. He, unfortunately, blundered badly and unseated me at the second. He retains the headgear and with a clear round, he should have a good chance with recent course winner Our Morris the main challenger.
(3.10) Nefyn Bay has paid the weight penalty for his three consecutive wins at the start of the year. A talented horse he has been successful on eight occasions with an equal spread between hurdles and chases. He ran quite well at the course last time beaten seven and a half lengths over three miles. The drop back in trip will suit and I expect him to run well with easy Cartmel winner Border Breaker the main threat.
(3.40) Strong Team showed some improved form when finishing second at Sedgefield in May. He didn’t build on that run next time at Southwell when I was in the saddle. He needs to improve to get involved in the finish. Mitch was an easy winner for me at Market Rasen and despite a penalty will be difficult to beat.
(4.10) Cooking Fat, a three times hurdle winner is still looking for a first chasing success after six attempts. He has run well many times and was travelling well for my last day at the track when badly hampered. He races over three miles today and is equipped with blinkers. He should benefit from both changes and I expect him to run a big race. Tickenwolf won well last time and will be a danger.
(5.10) Leather Belly ran well on bumper debut at Ayr in Mid May second to easy winner Finawn Bawn. I expect him to build on that initial run and be competitive in today’s contest. Ask Paddington and Ambrose have good chances.