Taunton looks the better of Monday's two jumps cards from a Placepot point of view...
"In a race that has Buckboru a clear second-favourite, Blue Buttons is deservedly long odds on."
14:20 - Trying to be clever isn't normally advised in claiming hurdles, but there's a set of circumstances in this six-runner affair that make it worthwhile. In short, the bottom three (which includes the once-smart Takeroc) can be discarded and favourite Stow isn't taken as reformed just yet. That leaves Regal d'Estruval and Dovils Date, one of which is bound to make the first two at least. We might get both in, plus a beaten favourite, if Stow reverts to his old ways.
14:50 - In a race that has Buckboru a clear second-favourite, Blue Buttons is deservedly long odds on. There appears to be little point in opposing the favourite, which would only cost us valuable lines.
15:20 - This leg calls for a move from the Placepot playbook. Favourite Massena isn't worth taking given there are only a select few that are genuinely in contention besides him. Of that group, Hint of Mint and Very Noble look the best options. Hint of Mint's Flat form promises that he'll be suited by this test, while Very Noble's win in a jumper's bumper last time advertised his speed, which will be at a premium under today's conditions.
15:50 - It may be dangerous to bank in a seven-runner race, though failings in favourite Milosam (shaped as though amiss last time) and Tresor de La Vie (no form before last time) push the weather vane towards Possibly Flora. She's been performing consistently at a modest level, including a couple of times over today's C&D, while less-testing conditions may well alleviate her weak-finishing ways.
16:20 - By now we'll hopefully have landed a couple of blows on favourites, so come leg five we can avoid the intricacies of a fairly interesting handicap and bank on Watt Broderick. This sort of test promises to suit the already progressive Watt Broderick ideally, and such has been the consistency of his recent improvement it's difficult to imagine him out of the three.
16:50 - On one hand, we're taking the easy way out in the closer, including morning favourite Browns Brook on the chief basis that he doesn't have the doubts hanging over him that Sin Bin (made poor start over fences) and Mic's Delight (attitude) have. That methodology also leads to the speculative inclusion of Duneen Point, who was consistent last summer and can perhaps make the places if others don't deliver.
14:20 - 1, 2
14:50 - 1
15:20 - 1, 8
15:50 - 7
16:20 - 8
16:50 - 4, 6
= 8 lines