Timeform highlight three horses worth backing at Exeter on Tuesday...
"...this step back to two miles could be just what she needs to help her belatedly get off the mark."
Timeform on Neetside
Majestic Merlin is one of three horses in this field with a Timeform small 'p' attached to his rating, denoting potential for further improvement, and Phillip Hobbs' horse makes plenty of appeal on his second attempt in handicap company. After showing clear signs of promise in a couple of novice hurdles at Newton Abbot, Majestic Merlin produced an improved effort to go close on his handicap debut at Warwick in November, just unlucky to bump into one as well handicapped as he did. The winner that day has gone in again since, and with further progress expected, Majestic Merlin holds solid claims.
Despite being a maiden after 17 runs, Neetside has shown definite signs of improvement of late, and her turn could be forthcoming. She was in the process of running well when coming down at the last at Taunton on her return in November, and she built on that effort to finish second at this venue recently, producing a career best to get within a neck of opening her account. She hung left in the straight and didn't have the same resolution as the winner, but she pulled 20 lengths clear of the remainder, and this step back to two miles could be just what she needs to help her belatedly get off the mark.
Don Herbager remains relatively low-mileage in this sphere, having raced just twice over fences, but he has shown good aptitude for chasing so far and this could prove a good opportunity for him to get his head in front. His run at Lingfield in November, as well as being his first over fences, was his first for 19 months, so it was encouraging that he got within a half-length of the winner, and he backed that up with another place finish at Ffos Las last time, the drop back to two and a half miles not showing him to best advantage on that occasion either. He is back over three miles here, which is certainly a positive, and given he is up against mainly exposed rivals, he holds leading claims.
MAJESTIC MERLIN -14:45 Exeter
20% - Philip Hobbs's strike rate at EXETER since the start of the 2015/16 season
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