Our website tipster hopes Christmas comes early in the feature Thank You NHS Devon National among a trio of selections from Exeter. Enjoy all the action from a bumper eight-race card live on Racing TV.
Venetia Williams and Charlie Deutsch have been in great form this winter and Hold That Taught looks a typical example of their ilk as a big chasing type who evidently goes well in the mud.
He has done nothing wrong in three chases so far and ran his best race to be a narrow second at Chepstow last time out. Winners have come out of that race, while it is tough to see that the re-opposing Highland Hunter would have beaten him before falling.
Highland Hunter did us a short-priced favour at Carlisle last time and I do think he has a real future in staying chases, but he won with nothing to spare and the penalty might just tip the favour in the balance of the selection, a promising novice himself.
He was a good second last time and – apart from the top-weight - is up against much more exposed performers here. He can show himself to be gradually improving at a modest level.
He has twice been placed over this course and distance and clearly relishes a stiff stamina test.
Storm Force Ben had Looks Like Power well behind last time and the horse that beat him, Sandymount Rose, has won again and placed in Grade Two company since.
I think he showed improved form there, and just a 3lbs rise still leaves him on a winnable mark. His stable is in very good form at present.
He won this race last year and looked an improver in marathon events in doing so. He is only 6lbs higher and, in a similar standard of race, could still be well-treated.
It hasn’t happened for him so far this season, and after a promising reappearance was pulled up in the Welsh National last time. However, that race came at a time when many of the stable’s runners were disappointing and he may be forgiven as the yard has returned to much better form now.
This is a race that has mostly been won in recent years by horses towards the top of the handicap, so 11st 12lbs is not insurmountable. Ground conditions will be pretty similar to last year, too.Fancy winning a 50" television, a 12-month Racing TV subscription, a Reclining Armchair plus much more? Click here to enter our Ultimate Cheltenham At Home competition!
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