Racegoers are in for an absolute treat at Exeter on Sunday where the racecourse will field the maximum number of runners allowable with 89 entered in seven races after the Racing Clydesdales get the card underway at noon.
Bathwick Tyres sponsor the seven races with a two mile seven furlongs handicap hurdle the first race. Runners include the Colin Tizzard-trained Mufffins For Tea, a six-year-old placed three times in maiden hurdles last season having his first run in a handicap, Harry Fry’s A Plein Temps, a beaten favourite at Exeter in April; Daliance, a winner at Fakenham last month, an effort that has put him up 4lbs and course and distance winner Precious Ground who will relish the ground and could go close.
Wizards Bridge is back over fences in the three-mile handicap chase. He won well at Chepstow earlier in the month and is capable of winning again. Robert Walford saddles Albert D’Olivate who has performed well over hurdles, winning his last start at Chepstow in March on heavy going. He resumes his chasing career today having had one start over the bigger obstacles when unplaced at Taunton this time last year.
The three miles novice chase is the starting point for the Warren Greatrex-trained Missed Approach, a capable hurdler who concluded the season at Ayr in April where he was second to Two Taffs in a two mile five and a half furlong handicap hurdle. The form of the race is working out well with five subsequent winners behind him and Two Taffs winning at Carlisle last month. Harry Fry saddles American, another potentially smart recruit to chasing. Lightly raced, he won a hurdle at Ascot a year ago and then ran in a Grade 2 novice hurdle at Fairyhouse in March in which he was sixth.
The ground has come right for Venetia Williams’ who saddles her first runner at Exeter this season with Last Shot running in the two miles one furlong handicap chase. He’s a course winner, taking a two mile three furlong chase in November 2013, and has had a break since finishing second to Casino Markets at Stratford in May.
Plenty of newcomers will be lining up in the two mile juvenile hurdle and it could be another Harry Fry-trained runner who wins with Litterale Ci making his British debut after two impressive Flat wins in France this summer. Paul Nicholls saddles Volpone Jelois, a veteran of 24 starts on the flat with four wins to his name including at Deauville in August where he won a one mile seven furlong handicap by eight lengths.
The Evan Williams-trained On The Road carries a 7lb penalty for his latest success at Fontwell last week and is bidding for a four-timer in the two-mile furlong handicap hurdle. Concluding the card is a conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle where could improve on his decent performance at Chepstow last month where he was beaten four and a half lengths on his first appearance for nine months.