Taunton and Uttoxeter, Wednesday 24th April

Today we head to both Taunton and Uttoxeter with 7 runners.

At Taunton, first up is Jersey Gem in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle at 5.15pm. She wasn’t good enough in Mares’ Novice Hurdles in the autumn but I’ve given her plenty of time because I felt that she was quite immature. Better ground I think will suit but she will seriously need to improve on her efforts so far. If she gets into a rhythm though she could run well.

Next up is Fourofakind in the 6.25pm Handicap Hurdle who after winning at Hereford I thought he’d go on from that and he unfortunately he’s regressed. I’ve taken the headgear off and the tongue-tie just in an effort to try something different. He didn’t face the blinkers at all last time out. He’s more than capable to run well off his mark but we’re hoping rather than expecting today. I’ve changed a few things at home sending him to the races much more fresh today in a hope that that might produce a different result.

Next up is Bella Civena in the Handicap Hurdle at 7pm, who actually ran quite nicely last time out  on ground that she will have hated. A return to a sound surface is a massive positive for her, I think a step up in trip to 2 mile 3 furlongs is also a positive and I actually think that this is a mare that can run really well today. She’s in great form at home and I’m expecting a good run. 

Hard Frost is next in the Handicap Chase at 7.35pm, who ran in this race last year and the ground went too soft. A return to good ground will suit him and I think this is probably his trip when ridden positively. He’s quirky but without question got a good chance if he shows his best form. 

Our final runner at Taunton is Glorious Lion in the Handicap Hurdle at 8.10pm who I’ve been waiting to run on good ground all season. He’s run some good races in defeat this year. The tight nature of the track and a fast run handicap will suit him but I do just have in the back of my mind that he’s had a long season on the flat and a long winter over jumps so it could be the end of a long season for him. He will be up to winning off his mark next season if he doesn’t today though. 

At Uttoxeter first up is  Il Va De Soi in the Handicap Hurdle at 6.10pm who won really nicely at Chepstow last time out. He won by half a length and went up 8lb which I thought was probably enough so he obviously has that to contend with but he’s in good form. I’m not sure the heavy ground will bother him too much and two and a half miles suits well. Alice Stevens takes off and handy 5lb, she’s riding very well at the moment so fingers crossed he can run a nice race. 

Swallowfields then runs in the bumper at 7.50pm. She’s a homebred very kindly sent to me by the Hanbury family. She’s a really lovely mare and I’m very much looking forward to her going novice hurdling next season. It wouldn’t shock me if there were a couple a little too sharp for her in a bumper but she’s a lovely mare and she’s worth following into the future. 

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