Paul sends a strong team to Newton Abbot as the jumps season gets into gear, and his column begins with a confident note about Skatman in the opener...
"Bravemansgame is such an exciting horse, jumps brilliantly and this race looks an ideal starting point for him now the ground is soft. He might as well run here against three others for proper prize money than have another pop over our fences at home."
Good chance for win in the opener
He took time to come to hand after joining us last season but our patience was rewarded when he made a pleasing winning debut over hurdles at Musselburgh, beating a decent horse who has since rattled up a sequence over fences. Skatman is a novice over hurdles until November 1. He is fit and well, will be suited by going left handed and must have a good chance.
Not going just for a doodle round
He had an entry in the Listed novice Chase at Chepstow yesterday (sat) but he runs in this Intermediate Chase because he is so well treated by the conditions and gets weight from all his rivals. I've won it in the past with a novice Black Corton who was getting all the allowances from Frodon!
Bravemansgame is such an exciting horse, jumps brilliantly and this race looks an ideal starting point for him now the ground is soft. He might as well run here against three others for proper prize money than have another pop over our fences at home. He has won a point to point, is in good shape and is not going to Newton Abbot just for a doodle round. The timing is perfect before he goes for the Rising Stars Chase at Wincanton in four weeks.
Ground and trip in Blackjack's favour
A thoroughly likeable character in the yard Blackjack didn't immediately take to chasing as well as I hoped last season because he tended to spend a bit too long in the air over his fences. Switched back to hurdles he won in good style at Chepstow aided by an excellent ride from Harry Cobden. I've cracked on with him hoping it might be soft at this meeting. The ground and the trip on this left-handed track are all in his favour.
Wouldn't shock me if See wins
He couldn't have made a better start to his career, winning a bumper stylishly on his debut at Ffos Las before he was successful next time over hurdles at Chepstow. But he became frustrating after that, couldn't handle heavy ground on two occasions and was thoroughly disappointing. We decided to re-cauterise his palate, he's going nicely at home, is wearing cheek pieces to sharpen his mind and I'm also trying a tongue tie. But for Seealotmorebusiness pulling up twice in succession last winter I'd be hopeful of a big run. It certainly wouldn't shock me if he wins.
Il Ridoto has decent claims
I do like Il Ridoto who won twice over hurdles in France for Guillaume Macaire and was also second over fences at Bordeaux before arriving at Ditcheat. He has done well over the summer and on his homework I'd say he has decent claims in this novice handicap.
Lallylag should be there at the death
He is an interesting new recruit having joined us this summer with his talented full brother Lalor. He has had just the one run when showing some promise in finishing fifth in a bumper at Taunton. Lallylag is a small, athletic type who has improved for that experience, works pleasingly and should be thereabouts at the finish.
Best chance. Bravemansgame. 13:30.He is in top order, jumps brilliantly and gets all the allowances.
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