Wetherby stages the first day of its two-day meeting, and that is where we head for Friday's crack at the Placepot...
Brian Ellison looks to hold a strong hand here with Full Day and Come on Sunshine, and it is probably best to just side with his representatives...
13:10- The opening novices' hurdle looks a good opportunity for Be My Present to extend her winning sequence. Be My Present was a highly-impressive winner on her first outing for James Ewart, registering a wide-margin success at Hexham, jumping well, travelling strongly and winning easily. There are some doubts about the bare form of that contest but she was much the best and looks a solid proposition here in a race where some of her chief market rivals have questions to answer.
13:40- Knight In Purple could be worth including as he tends to go well at this venue and arrives in decent heart having shown that he still has something to offer when finishing runner-up at Uttoxeter last time. He is no banker proposition, though, so we will also put Lightening Rod into the mix as he has also gone well over C&D, including when finishing a narrow second on his return. He does have a good record fresh, so needs to prove he can back that up, but he has plenty in his favour and can give a good account.
14:15- Silver Roque seems best fresh and he can make a winning reappearance for the third year in succession by taking this listed contest. Two and a half miles on decent ground is absolutely ideal for Silver Roque and, with 8 runners and 3 places on offer, we will bank on Fergal O'Brien having his charge ready to go again on reappearance.
14:50- Brian Ellison looks to hold a strong hand here with Full Day and Come on Sunshine, and it is probably best to just side with his representatives. Full Day has improved with each run over hurdles and found plenty under pressure last time, while Come on Sunshine defied a penalty in the style of one who will carry on progressing, keeping on well to get on top close home.
15:25- Big Sound is the first horse to concentrate on here, his consistent profile an obvious positive for Placepot punters. Big Sound actually produced a career-best effort to win at Kelso last time, and the fact he is in such good heart means he is likely to give a good account. The worry is that he might actually find the combination of a speed-favouring track and a sound surface producing a sharp enough test, so we will also put Ballyben into the mix as he is relatively unexposed over the larger obstacles and only narrowly went down at Perth last time.
16:00- Silver Vogue was well held in bumper and novice hurdles but he appeals as the type that may improve now entering the handicap ranks, so he is worth adding to the permutation. He is joined by Head of The Class who was rather disappointing last time but could well have needed the run on his return from 5 months off. With that effort behind him, it would be little surprise to see Head of The Class make an impact on handicap debut bearing in mind earlier bumper/ hurdling promise.
13:40- 1, 9
14:50- 2, 3
15:25- 2, 3
16:00- 2, 7
= 16 lines