The Smarkets Handicap Chase is the feature on Wincanton’s seven-race card today and with Colin Tizzard enjoying a rich vein of form, Muffins For Tea will be a popular choice to land the spoils. The eight-year-old was last seen winning at Taunton two weeks ago where he stayed on well over the two miles seven furlongs trip to land a six lengths success. He’s gone up 6lbs for the win, but with Tizzard’s team in such good heart, he could well add to his tally.
It’s a cracking race, and likely to give him a run for his money is Two Smokin Barrel who was denied a win by a neck at Leicester last month having started favourite. She didn’t have much luck in running that day and could well make amends for trainer Michael Scudamore and his brother Tom.
Racing begins with a two miles three furlongs handicap hurdle and first time cheek pieces might help Barney From Tyanee get off the mark at his 12th attempt, while John’s Luck, trained by Neil Mulholland, could well figure having dropped back in grade.
Bryony Frost is on board Ditcheat Thoroughbred’s Moabit, a course and distance winner, in the two mile Smarkets Handicap Hurdle. He was a ready winner at Chepstow last month under Frost and could well defy his six pounds rise in the weights.
He’ll face tough opposition from in form Sea Wall who has won his last two starts including at the course three weeks ago when he always had just enough in hand to score by half a length.
On form, Jurby and Storm Home should go head to head in the 11-runner Smarkets Novices’ Hurdle. The Trevor Hemmings-owned Jurby pulled up at Doncaster last time out having broken a blood vessel, but prior to that he put up a likeable performance at the course to win a National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle by two and a half lengths beating Grand Sancy. Storm Home was a warm order to score his first win at Taunton last month and he stuck to the task well to record a length and a half victory with Grand Sancy again denied a win.
The Smarkets Maiden Hurdle looks tailor made for the Jack Barber-trained King Calvin, winner of a brace of point-to-points last season before switching to under Rules and finishing fourth on his debut in a two miles six furlongs maiden hurdle at Stratford in November.
In the Smarkets Novices’ Handicap Chase the Evan Williams-trained Sutter’s Mill could gain compensation for defeat at Ffos Las last month where he did all the work and was just denied in the closing strides. In the same race Lawney Hill saddles Clondaw Westie, a wide margin winner at Leicester last month for which he’s been given a hefty rise in the weights.
Concluding the card is a four-runner bumper with newcomers One For The Team, trained by Nick Williams, and the Philip Hobbs-trained Kalooki likely to be fit for their debuts.