Potential improver for step up in trip and switch to fences
Chepstow 15:10: Maid On Mendip 1pt win 12/1
Maid On Mendip hasn't finished any closer than 32 lengths behind the winner in four starts but I think she could be capable of improving now that she goes up in trip and over fences for the first time today.
She showed a bit of ability in a bumper at Ffos Las in November 2020 before looking very green in two starts in novice hurdles later that season, the second of which being in a strong race at Southwell against Cadzand and Nickle Back.
She was dropped back in trip for her only start this season at Lingfield over two miles and unsurprisingly didn't have the speed to be competitive at any stage.
Maid On Mendip is out of the high class pointer Sericina so it would be no surprise if she improved for running over 3m over fences and she's looked quite mentally immature so there could be improvement to come as she sharpens up on that front too.
It may be that the improvement will come further down the line but this is a weak race and I think the market has overlooked her chance due to the trainer having a more obvious candidate in Barden Bella. Any 12/1 or bigger appeals.
Eyecatching efforts in maiden and novice hurdles
Chepstow 15:45: Rock Of Star 1pt win 10/1
It's no surprise that money has come for Breizh Alko on his return to hurdles having shaped well over fences last time at Lingfield nor The Wire Flyer who may be reaching peak fitness having looked badly in need of the outing at Exeter last month.
As a result of the market support for this pair, Rock Of Star has drifted and he's the one who appeals at the current prices.
He showed some ability on his debut in a maiden hurdle at Taunton towards the end of last season when he was only just starting to lose touch with the leading trip when overjumping at 2 out and coming down.
He took on Jpr One, Luttrell Lad and I Am Maximus on his first start of this season at Exeter and again shaped with some promise. He was keen under restraint towards the back of the field early on and was still a long way down the field jumping the last in the back straight before making headway very wide on the final bend. He was gently nudged along after jumping 3 out and couldn't go with the leaders and was put under a bit stronger pressure after 2 out and eventually finished seventh.
On Rock Of Star's latest start at Wincanton he was again held up at the back of the field before making a little headway towards the end of the back straight and he kept on well in the home straight without being given a hard time to finish sixth.
The way that Rock Of Star travelled for a long way on his first two starts that he has more ability than his rating of 99 and his latest performance seemed to be all about getting him to finish a race off stronger as he had no chance of being competitive with those tactics.
I'm concerned that this track might not be ideal for him and it could be that he will show he's better than his rating on a flat galloping track over a shorter trip but he's one of very few in this race who I think could be better than their mark and any 8/1 or bigger appeals.
Form of debut has worked out well
Fakenham 15:55: Springar 1pt e/w 20/1
Springar was beaten 23 lengths on her debut in a bumper at Warwick in November but that race has worked out very well and, in what looks a weaker bumper today, I think she can run better than the market is expecting.
She had to be cajoled along at the start and raced at the back of the field before briefly running green turning the bend at the far end of the course. She made some headway travelling well just before the final bend but she looked green going around the bend and was pushed along. She couldn't get near the leaders after that but kept responding to pressure to finish sixth.
Her stablemate, Miss Curiosity, ran a similar race to her that day and she has since finished second at Newbury to subsequent Listed bumper winner, Poetic Music, reversing the form with Konigin Isabella who finished third at Newbury having been two places ahead of her at Warwick.
The winner of the bumper at Warwick, Iliade Allen, finished second in that Listed bumper behind Poetic Music while the runner up has since been bought by Willie Mullins for £85,000.
There is a concern that this track won't be ideal for Springar given that she didn't look comfortable on the final bend at Warwick but it's possible that was just greenness and she has the potential to take a big step forward now that she has the benefit of that experience. Any 14/1 or bigger appeals.