WINCANTON hosts one of its biggest meetings of the season tomorrow where the Badger Ales Trophy (3.35pm) is the big betting heat of the day.
Paul Nicholls has won this seven times and saddles likely favourite Present Man who will be ridden by promising 5lbs claimer Bryony Frost. He won on his reappearance at Kempton over hurdles last month and this has been the target as his owners are sponsoring the contest.
The problem is the ground is set to be pretty testing and all his best form has come on a sounder surface.
He clearly has a decent chance, but at just 7/1 with 188BET I’m happy to leave him alone.
The final declarations for this race won’t be known until later this morning, but if they get in I like a couple at decent prices.
I’m interested in the Venetia Williams-trained VIC DE TOUZAINE, whose horses are renowned for their love of soft ground.
Williams has made a slow start to the season because conditions have been too quick, but Vic De Touzaine got off the mark when winning at Carlisle on his seasonal reappearance.
He ran well for a long way in the Ultima Handicap at Cheltenham in March and I’m sure he’s well-handicapped.
If he lines up, the 16/1 currently available will look a very big price.
The other one I’m keen on is Neil Mulholland’s SOUTHFIELD ROYALE, who was placed in a Grade One as a novice chaser.
His run behind Minella Rocco and Native River in the four-miler at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival showed his quality and he’s guaranteed to see out this trip.
He looks very well treated and is worth a few quid at 12/1.
POINTERS - TOMORROW
Vic De Touzaine e/w 3.35pm Wincanton
Southfield Royale e/w 3.35pm Wincanton