Green when second in Irish point
Doncaster 12:45: Ron Burgundy 1pt win 12/1
Skytastic heads the market for this maiden hurdle and if he can transfer the level of ability he showed in bumpers to hurdling then he will likely win but the market hasn't missed that whereas there's another hurdling debutant who I think is overpriced.
Ron Burgundy has two runs in Irish points and after being pulled up on debut he put in a much better performance at the end of October on his second start. He showed signs of greenness at various stages of that race before making a big move on the run to 3 out and a good jump there took him in a position to challenge for the lead. He ran wide off the final bend and ran green on the approach to 2 out but moved into second jumping that fence. He couldn't quite get to Abegudsam, however, and was beaten 3½ lengths by that rival.
Given how green he still was on that second start, it's reasonable to expect that there could be plenty of improvement to come from Ron Burgundy and he will be far mentally sharper today.
There is the chance that he's just a bit tricky rather than all of that being inexperience and he may ideally want a little further but those that have run over hurdles hardly set a formidable standard and any 10/1 or bigger appeals.
Blinkers back on could spark a return to form
Lingfield 13:05: Tahonta 0.5pt win 50/1
Tahonta has only beaten one rival on his last two starts, including over this C&D, but I wouldn't be surprised if he showed more today with the blinkers back on.
When they were first applied, he bounced back from finishing last at Haydock to finish third at Thirsk off 70 and it's easy to excuse the run next time at Ayr when he was slowly away in a race run in awful conditions.
He ran fairly well off a 7lb higher mark on his first run for these connections and with Sophie Reed in the saddle over C&D three starts ago but he's been well beaten on both starts since. However, on the first of those at Wolverhampton he was in position Z throughout as he was keen and wide so that can be excused.
Tahonta has been dropped 5lb for those two runs and the return of headgear may spark a revival, particularly as he could get an ideal setup tracking the likely strong pace set by Eastern Star.
It may be that he will run another shocker and Sophie Reed is still looking for her first winner but I can't let him go unbacked at that price in a race of this quality and any 33/1 or bigger appeals.
Returning to hurdling will suit
Huntingdon 15:10: Honest Vic 1pt e/w 14/1
I would usually stay clear of Pertemps qualifiers for betting purposes but I can't resist backing Honest Vic after he's drifted so much given the quality of this qualifier.
Although he ran respectably in three of his four starts over fences, he didn't look a natural chaser at all and that showed in handicap company at Cheltenham last time.
His most recent starts over hurdles was in the Grade 2 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury and he ran well there to be beaten 12½ lengths by Thyme Hill. Prior to that, he hacked up off a 5lb lower mark than he races off today when winning a Pertemps qualifier at Cheltenham.
The additional distance to this 3m1f hurdle will be no harm to his chance and, as long as they revert to riding him handily now back over hurdles, he could find himself in a favourable position either in front or tracking Gazette Bourgeoise in a race where there might not be much competition up front.
It may be that there are some younger rivals who have too much improvement in them or that Honest Vic's confidence might have been unsettled by his latest run but he's got to an appealing price and is a bet at 12/1 or bigger.