Second place was as close as Alan's selections got yesterday but he is looking to go one place better today with two selections from Wetherby and Taunton...
"He gets in here off just 7lbs higher than his Uttoxeter win, the trip looks ideal and he will have no problem with the heavy going. "
Jamie Snowden's seven=year-old mare Lunar Flow is running for the first time after having a wind operation, assuming that has the desired effect then she could prove tough opposition for her rivals today. The form of her win at Uttoxeter in October is rock solid with the second that day, Audacious Plan getting a hat-trick since and is now rated 17lbs higher, there were three other winners coming from that race as well. Lunar Flow herself has run two solid races since, she put in a poor effort at Exeter but she can be excused that as she simply didn't stay over three and three quarter miles. She gets in here off just 7lbs higher than her Uttoxeter win, the trip looks ideal and she will have no problem with the heavy going.
Milly Baloo could be the fly in the ointment after her unlucky performance last time, she had the race at her mercy (traded 1.121/8 in running) before running out at the last. Brian Hughes is back in the plate today so I am not expecting any similar problems, but she certainly looks like a tricky horse to win with and at the likely prices, I would rather be with the much more straight forward Lunar Flow.
Robert Walford's lightly raced six-year-old Our Merlin completed a hat-trick of wins in December and has put in two decent efforts since. Both races were highly competitive affairs and he will have learnt plenty from these races, he goes best under these conditions and he's a course and distance winner. Back in a small field he should be able to dictate the race from the front which is what he does best and if he gets an uncontested lead, which it looks like he could, then he could be difficult to pass.
Paul Nicholls has won this race twice in the last four years with claiming riders, so it is interesting to see that he has 7lb claimer Alexander Thorne on Coillte Lass here for the top trainer. The seven-year-old may well have been have been off the boil this season, but she she did run well in Grade 2 company last season, she has the first-time cheekpieces on and is dropped in trip. It shouldn't have enough to trouble Our Merlin but if there had been eight runners it would have been of much more interest at an each way price.
2018 Overall (prior to this week): +1.75 pts
This week so far...
Staked: 8 pts
Returned: 10 pts
2017 P&L +53.30pts
2016 P&L +15.23pts