THE FIELDS for novice chases tend to be small once again this year. The handicapper and the authorities need to revisit the way they are rating animals as this can’t go on much longer.

The 1.35pm at Exeter today is a point in case but at least this looks like a competitive affair. Overclear put in a very good round at Stratford in October on totally different ground. His third at Cheltenham wasn’t bad either but I would fancy this seven-year-old to be a handicapper not a leading contender for championship races. Take The Breeze doesn’t look to be a 19 furlong plus horse but Paul Nicholls isn’t Champion trainer without knowing more than me. This grey gelding may have won over the course, but I think that BENSALEM will have his beating over this additional furlong. He possibly needs today’s right handed track and will appreciate the going and the distance.

The Tingle Creek (2.25pm) tomorrow looks a cracker even though it has a small field. It really could go to any of the five and my heart would like to see Well Chief be nicely clear at the line. But as a punt I think the money should be on BIG ZEB. He might have had a few problems with his jumping in the past – and I have no doubt tomorrow that the railway fences will test him to the limit – but I think he should have the beating of the others.