There’s a full house of runners at Exeter today where the eight race card features a hugely competitive renewal of the Healthy Pets Devon National.
Sixteen runner go to post with plenty in with a with a chance including last year’s winner Dawson City who ran well in the Welsh National, but may need the ground to be more testing. Anthony Honeyball saddles Jepeck who landed a gamble on his first start for the trainer in November; Zerachiel ran really well in the Lincolnshire National finishing second to St Ange Des Malberaux who was receiving 13lbs; Jonjo O’ Neill has a great record in the race with Cobolobo the preferred of his two runners and I See You Well was travelling strongly in the Sussex National before falling at the 16th fence.
Also on the card is a class two Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle which looks set to be a compelling race with contenders vying for a place at the Cheltenham Festival. Several will tussle for a place at the head of the betting including the Nicky Henderson-trained Dragon D’Estruval and Thomas Campbell, who ran in the final last year. Buckhorn Timothy looked impressive when winning at Chepstow in November and Boyhood has scope for further improvement.
The GG.co.uk Handicap Hurlde looks a great opportunity for the Warren Greatrex-trained Printing Dollars who made all to win a mares’ maiden hurdle at the course last month and has her first run in a handicap.
Epatante, who is as short as 4-1 for the Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival if she runs, will be a warm favourite for the Visit Exeter Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle. She looked impressive on her hurdles debut and is likely to follow up here.
The GG Tips National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle looks a race for the notebooks with runners including Haldon Hill who made all to win a bumper on heavy ground and was second on his hurdles bow, Umbrigado a winner first time over hurdles at Southwell in December and Ask Dillon who won a maiden hurdle at Ascot in December.
Aimee De Sivola has some decent bumper form and has her first run in a handicap in the GG Fast Results Mares’ Handicap Hurdle where she’ll face Annie Mc who was given a hefty rise in the weights following her win at Chepstow last month, Love Lane who has won her last two starts and Dinos Benefit who was n beaten a nose at Ludlow earlier this month.
Molineaux won well at Wincanton last month and can add to that success in the GG Racing Podcast Chase where Sky Pirate, going well until falling at Cheltenham in November, Another Stowaway, a winner at Leicester four weeks ago and Captain Cattistock, who has plenty of improvement to come over fences, most likely to challenge for pole position.