Steven Dowler gives his verdict on the £3,000 Best Dividend Guaranteed Place 6 at Uttoxeter on Tuesday. He reckons that the Harry Fry-trained Bullionaire will take all the beating.
12.40 – Handicap Hurdle
We start the day with this competitive looking class 4 handicap hurdle and I really like three here.
Dr Richard Newland has a more quality over quantity based stable and he sends RED MIX back over hurdles today. He has been highly tried since joining the yard with all his starts being in either class 3 or class 2 company. He showed good form in a few of those, particularly when half a length second back in February in a class 3 event behind Flashing Glance, who has since won off a mark 128, which leaves Red Mix very well treated here dropping down in class. Red Mix ran a good race on seasonal debut from the front to finish third behind two horses rated 130+ and he reverts to hurdles on a 5lbs lower mark. So, despite top weight, Red Mix looks sure to run well under Henry Brooke.
I also like DEMON D’AUNOU who has done all of his racing between 2018/19 so far in higher grade company, running some lovely races off higher marks. This 6yo is now down to his lowest handicap mark of 120 and will appreciate the drop back to 2 miles having failed to get home over further distances in his last two having travelled well each time. Demon is 2lbs lower today and should go close for McLernon and Jonjo O’Neill.
Venetia Williams and Charlie Deutsch rely on handicap debutant DESQUE DE L’ISLE, who looks well handicapped on 107 having run well twice for a long way on both starts to date against fair opposition. I think this prominent racer is ahead of this mark, will enjoy the heavy ground and has far more improvement to come.
Selections: RED MIX, DEMON D’AUNOU, DESQUE DE L’ISLE
13.10 – Handicap Hurdle
This looks a relatively weak contest. Most of the horses towards the head of the mark are having their first run of the season except VEREINA, who has looked a completely different animal on heavy ground. She’s bolted up by a combination of 28 lengths on both starts on this ground and, although she’s 12lbs higher today than her latest win, she’s race fit and is the only C&D winner in the race so she is sure to take all the beating.
I want to also give a mention to HEPBURN at a nice price. This 6yo mare will love the heavy ground with her best form coming on the surface and she’s finished in the frame four times off this mark or higher. The slight drop back in trip will suit and connections have booked cracking rider James Bowen to ride the mare who returns from wind surgery, which is interesting indeed. If you look through her form, she has a major chance of running well again off this mark and she could find enough improvement to trouble the favourite.
Selections: VEREINA, HEPBURN
13.40 – Maiden Hurdle
We now move on to this maiden hurdle and, although he’s not the most straightforward of horses, it’s hard to look past the Harry Fry trained BULLIONAIRE.
He was a good bumper horse, winning on debut nicely before finishing second in a listed event at Ascot. I have no idea what went wrong with him on hurdles debut where he was tailed off but he bounced back to something near his best when last seen following a break to finish a close up third behind Harry Senior, who went close at Aintree since and Sporting John who bolted up recently.
It’s also worth noting the fourth Kisses For Katie and fifth Eritage who were both behind him have won since, so the form is rock solid. Bullionaire has been found a good opportunity to get off the mark over hurdles as he looks a cut above this field and should outclass this opposition.
14.10 – Beginners Chase
This looks a warm beginners chase and Nicky Henderson sends WITH DISCRETION for her chasing debut. She is a lightly raced 8 year old mare who has a smart hurdler, winning her first two starts nicely on soft/heavy ground before losing her unbeaten record in grade one company at Punchestown.
She’s clearly well regarded based on the face connections thrown her in the deep end against high-class mare Benie Des Dieux last time. I think With Discretion looks absolutely made for fences the way she took to hurdles and is the highest rated in the field here at 144. She gets weight from the whole field and NDB comes here to specifically ride here. The ground and trip will be perfect for her and she must have a great chance of making a successful chasing debut.
I will also select TIDAL FLOW under the champion jockey Richard Johnson. He was a decent hurdler, winning twice and ran a lovely race on chase debut to finish third behind two good horses. Tidal Flow looked in need of that run towards the back end of the race and will strip a lot fitter here with that experience under his belt. There is no doubt Tidal Flow will find it hard to beat the Nicky Henderson trained mare giving weight away, but he is race fit here with conditions no problem and he should run a big race.
Selections: WITH DISCRETION, TIDAL FLOW
14.40 – Handicap Hurdle
Fergal O’Brien has his stable in really good form and he looks to have found his improving stayer GOOD AND HARDY another chance of success. This 6yo handles soft/heavy ground very well and has improved with each start for connections where he rallied and finished so strongly at Chepstow last time under Connor Brace to land the spoils. Good And Hardy is 4LB bigger here and has to carry top weight 12-6 but he is a really solid, reliable horse and this race looks a lot weaker than his latest win so he will be very hard to beat.
At a huge price, it might be worth chancing BEHIND TIME to run well. He was highly tried back in the 2017/18 season where he showed good form over hurdles such was when finishing sixth in a grade three off a mark 128 and is 15LB lower here. Behind Time’s last win was at this track off a mark 120 in a class 2 chase on heavy ground over 3 miles and his best form has been on heavy ground, which he gets here. This 8yo didn’t show much thereafter that win but he shaped nicely back at this track last time over a trip too short and is back up to 3 miles off a 5LB lower mark with conditions to suit. If he can take a step forward from that latest win, I wouldn’t put it past this once useful well handicapped horse to run a big race.
Selections: GOOD AND HARDY, BEHIND TIME
15.10 – NH Bumper Race
We conclude the meeting with a very interesting bumper race where we could see a potential star in the making. Seamus Durack sends his only runner to today’s card in the shape of FIDDLERS TRACKER, who is related so some very classy horses such as Make A Stand and Richard Johnson has been booked to ride so it’s quite clear a big run is expected and whatever he does in bumpers, he will make a lovely hurdler in time.
Harry Fry has a great record in bumpers and he’s won this twice in recent years with the top class but sadly no longer with us Neon Wolf and also Get In The Queue. He runs FREDDIE DARLING who must have a great chance of extending the yards good record in the race and has a nice pedigree. The yard must rate this horse highly based on there two former winners of the race developing into exceptional talents so he is expected to run well.
I do also like the experienced TASTE THE FEAR who has run reasonably well in two bumpers when formerly trained in Ireland. That experience will give him a good chance of running well here but he doesn’t look anything out of the ordinary and the two market leaders could have too much pace for him in the latter stages of the race.
Selections: FIDDLERS TRACKER, FREDDIE DARLING