3.20 Hexham – ESPOIR MORIVIERE (3/1) – William Hill – 1pt
Only two wins in this seven-year-olds career so far but if he can replicate the form of his neck second at this meeting last year off a 6lb higher mark then he will be very hard to beat in my opinion, but he would need to put some lacklustre recent runs behind him. He returned from his summer break with a well-held third over C&D but hopefully that was just a stepping stone for this contest which may have been a target after last year’s effort. He has yet to win at this course but has placed five times so a win is certainly overdue and with question marks surrounding a majority of runners he’s taken to gain victory with Craig Nicol in the saddle.
3.30 Lingfield – SHELDON (15/2) – Sky Bet – 0.5pt ew (5 places)
Despite being a beaten 6/4 favourite the last day over track and trip, it was this gelding’s return to action so he may have needed the outing and that run came on good-to-soft ground, the return to a softer surface may also see him perform better with his best form last season coming with plenty of give in the going description, including a maiden hurdle win at Fontwell. He competed in two high grade novice handicaps at the back end of the campaign at Sandown, finishing just better than midfield on both occasions and was surrounded by horses now rated around the 130-mid 130s and off a mark of 117 here with 3lb-claimer Sean Houlihan again taking the ride he may well outrun his odds, and if he does improve which he is more than capable of then I’d be disappointed if he’s not at least in the places here.