Dave Nevison's top tips for Thursday: Stars ready to shine at Ludlow

By Dave Nevison@nevisondave
Wed 26 Feb 2020

All eyes will be on Richard Johnson when he makes his amazingly quick comeback from a broken arm at Musselburgh on Thursday. The script is written, and I see no real reason to think he cannot return with a winner at the Scottish venue.

1.30 Musselburgh: Made For You

He has not exactly been progressive on his runs over hurdles so far but has been dropped 4lb for a fair effort last time out and finds himself in 0-100 handicap company now plus this is a very moderate event even for this grade.

Soft ground did not seem to bother him last time and he could well come on for that run given he was off a break.

Given the circumstances of this being Richard Johnson’s comeback ride, it is unlikely there will be massive value about the price, but I expect him to win, especially with the stable in such good form.

3.25 Ludlow: Head To The Stars

I thought this one might be a bit of a money spinner in staying handicap chases this winter, so it is perhaps disappointing that he not won one yet.

There is just a chance, judged on his runs this season, that he is not quite the extreme stayer many thought he might be, so this track and trip might suit him better.

Tom O’Brien - who rides him here - has got him closest to winning with a very good effort at Bangor two starts ago and a reproduction of that may well be good enough.

5.00 Ludlow: Demopolis

This horse did me a favour and possibly repaid a few losses for those who had the patience to stick with him after what has undoubtedly been a disappointing decline in his mark.

The win last week was over fences and he was noted travelling and jumping very well for some way before he took it up and won easily.

He caught the eye, however, on his previous start at Exeter over hurdles and it is pretty clear to me he is not a 100-rated horse, and this looks a shrewd bit of placing.

Now that he has hit form, I expect more wins.

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