The Higos Insurance Services Devon National is the feature on Exeter’s seven race card today with 12 runners set to face the starter for a share in the £25,000 prize.
Top weight is the Anthony Honeyball-trained Cresswell Breeze with James Nixon taking a handy 7lb off her back.She’s a resolute stayer and will keep galloping in what is likely to be holding ground. She was last seen in January’s Betfred Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick where the race wasn’t run to suit, and this drop in class, together with a steadier pace should pay to her strengths. She’s a classy staying chaser who readily won Fontwell’s Totepool Southern National and she can add the Devon version to her haul today.
Yanmare is another who relishes extreme distances and is likely to go well too although Nigel Twiston-Davies’ team have gone a shade quiet in recent weeks.
The Enhanced Place Odds At 188Bet Handicap Hurdle begins the card with the Philip Hobbs-trained Motueka making his handicap debut. He has plenty of experience on his side and may get his nose in front from Robert’s Star who was staying on at Market Rasen in January over the same distance and may find the course suits.
A step back in trip for Drops of Jupitor in the Bet & Watch At 188Bet Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle may see her return to winning ways, having won at the course easily in December. Since then she’s suffered two defeats but she could well settle at a course she likes and resume her winning ways. Waiheke also deserves respect having won a similar race in November.
Irish point-to-point winner Reikers Island, a half brother to eight winners, makes his racecourse debut in the Six Nations Rugby At 188BetNational Hunt Novices’ Hurdle where his main threats are likely to be the Colin Tizzard-trained Molineaux who won at Wincanton last time out, and Master Tommytucker who could go well on his racecourse debut for Paul Nicholls.
A cracking race is in prospect for the Prydis Mares’ Handicap Hurdle where the runners include the Jamie Snowden-trained Kalahari Queen who makes her handicap debut having won and been placed on her previous two outings. One or two trainers may be having a quiet spell, in terms of winners trained, but they are sure to be resurgent soon, and among them are Neil Mulholland, who saddles Whatsthatallabout and Harry Fry who is responsible for Lamanver Odyssey.
Runners in the 188Bet Cheltenham Festival Preview Evening March 6 Chase include Pure Vision, a hugely likeable horse and Barry Geragthy’s only ride of the meeting. This is his fourth outing over fences and having fallen on his chasing debut at the course in November, three weeks later he was in winning form, landing the two mile five furlong novices’ limited handicap chase at Ffos Las. That earned him a 7lb rise in the weights for his next run at Chepstow last month where he was a four and a half lengths fourth in testing conditions. He’s learning all the time and could go close today.
A bumper concludes the card with several newcomers in action but experience may pay and Darling Alko, Summit Like Herbie and Fontsanta all have winning form.