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Saturday's NAP, Frere D'Armes was a close second to Boothill. My selection walked through a fence before turning for home, and that pretty much cost him the race, but jumping is the aim of the game and the best horse on the day won fair and square.
Lassue put in a decent effort, she finished a close third, with the front three pulling miles clear of the rest, which is normally a sign that it'll be strong form, but still its frustrating to not walk away with a winner. Primoz didn't put in a great effort, but I don't think that was a true showing at all, it was far too bad to be true. He was trading a shade of odds-on when turning for home, travelling powerfully and jumping very nicely, but he went out like a light. There will be other days for him.
Uttoxeter 1:05 – Broomfield Present 6/5 (1pt, Bet365)
It's annoying to be backing a horse at such short odds, but it was bound to happen in a race with just four runners and with the chasing debut that Broomfield Present put in.
I stuck him up at Exeter on chasing debut and I thought he ran with plenty of credit. The Kim Bailey yard was firing winners in for fun at the time, especially their novice chasers, and the yard continues to be in decent form so I think he deserves another crack. He has always looked like a true stayer so the testing ground at Uttoxeter can only be a plus for him. He showed last year that he handles very soft conditions and he just keeps plugging away, so with that recent run under his belt I'm expecting a slightly fitter version of Broomfield Present, and if he goes slightly better than last time out then he will be a tough horse to beat, given he doesn't make any jumping errors.
Exeter 3:10 – Enjoy Your Life 9/4 (1pt, Bet365)
With Venetia Williams being a great supplier of wins for me recently I'd think it rude not to put up Enjoy Your Life, who has that profile which I love from this stable.
This horse made a good return to chasing at Wincanton last time out, it was his first chase start since moving from France to Venetia's yard, having last season being kept over hurdles. He ran a fine race to finish 2nd to a Nicholls well-backed horse who was clearly ahead of his mark and came to that Wincanton meeting primed for a big run, as that is one of the meetings that Paul likes to target. According to RPRs this horse put in a performance +11 of his handicap mark, but he has gone up 4lbs and Ned Fox isn't claiming 3lbs, so that will make it tougher, but to counter that they are trying a new trip over fences, which is 3m. He was tried once over 3m 1f over hurdles last year, but he didn't show much over the smaller obstacles last year, so I think you wipe the slate clean. The way that Venetia is firing out winners it's hard to question whether this is the correct move by putting this horse up in trip, she is a genius and is in such great form at the moment, if she thinks this is what this horse wants, then that's enough for me.
I don't think Charlie will want to get into a pace match in this race, especially over this trip, so I think he'll have him sat towards the rear and let the pace collapse and let his mount get into a lovely rhythm which he does so often and then bring him into contention late on, to ensure he has the stamina in reserve to make a winning run.
Uttoxeter - 1:05 pm
6/5 @ Bet365
Exeter - 3:10 pm