By Tom Stanley
I’ve got three over obstacles and a good race at Lingfield for my focus on Friday.
The Higos Insurance Services Devon National is the race I am most looking forward to, live on Racing UK at 4.50 from Exeter aftr it passed a late inspection, and there is a strong fancy at the prices to go with it.
He looks out of form on the face of it but was punished for his last win, off this mark, and has struggled since.
It’s been a long time between his last chase start and this, over two years in fact, but he’s well worth another go over bigger obstacles and well treated for his return to them.
His form in five chase starts was hardly shabby either and the tough conditions will suit.
It is a leap of faith, admittedly, but a few of these have questions to answer and the surprising 10-1 knocking about makes the big step worth it.
Three wins from his last four starts at the track, he was successful over course and distance last time out and a 4lb hike may not be enough to halt the progress.
He had enough speed to win over six furlongs back in November, but looks best held up off a decent pace and I can see them going quick today with the likes of Pearl Spectre, Bobby Wheeler and Tavener in here.
He was confidently ridden last time when swooping late but that means his rise is more than fair, as is the 11-2.
Still relatively lightly raced for a nine-year-old, Twojayslad is back off just 1lb higher than the mark off which he began his chase career.
He won that day too, over three miles, but has not really progressed. He was better in first time cheekpieces a few starts back but they were then dispensed with for his return off nearly a year away at Doncaster last time.
He should fare better for the effort and, for all he might need this too, he is a course winner, and a very well treated one, at 7-1.
I’ve followed this horse in all the regional Nationals over the last few years. Unfortunately he has not won since a dour staying performance at Newbury over two years ago but I am sure he has got one of these in him.
His trainer has a good record in this and he was sent off favourite for the race twelve months ago when beaten just over a length off the same mark. This campaign has been different.
Just one start since a wind operation in the summer, you would like to think this has been the plan and am hoping this is the year. He's well worth chancing at 16-1.
Tom Stanley's Friday tips:
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