There is a good card to kick off the new month of February at Exeter on Wednesday and Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway runs you through his best bets at the Devon course.
Sizable Sam @ 5/4
Lazy Sunday @ 13/2
Chloe’s Court @ 20/1
The 3m novice chase (1.35) looks like a match between First Lord Du Cuet and Sizable Sam and the return to this stiff track could do the trick for the latter on his fifth chasing start.
Sizable Sam was beaten just a neck when second to Masters Legacy in a hot handicap over course and distance in November and looked unlucky not to build on that when filling the same position at Wincanton last time, after finding plenty of trouble throughout the contest.
He was hampered at the eighth and then badly interfered with by a faller in front of him at the following fence.
That put him on that back foot and he did remarkably well to recover and throw down a challenge to winner No Hubs No Hoobs, losing out by a length and a quarter.
Sizable Sam is rated 3lb inferior to First Lord Du Cuet on BHA ratings and races off level weights, but he is well suited by this stiff venue and that could prove the decisive factor here.
The 2m3f handicap chase (2.45) is more of an open contest, but I make it between Eros and Lazy Sunday and preference is for the latter, who is a class apart on her best hurdle form.
This race is over fences and poses a different test, but Exeter isn’t a stiff examination of jumping and Lazy Sunday hinted that she might be capable of gaining a first win at the discipline when a close third in a mares’ novice handicap chase at Worcester in October.
That was her chasing debut and she jumped right throughout, so the return to this clockwise venue should be in her favour, and she ran one of her best races over hurdles at this course.
She fell at the first two runs ago at Taunton when favourite and that appeared to have affected her confidence at Hereford last time as she put in some slow leaps over the first few fences.
However, she warmed up as the race went on and stayed on well late, jumping more fluently.
That was a good run which should have rebuilt her confidence and she can improve on it here.
The second division of the 2m7f handicap hurdle (4.30) doesn’t look like a strong race and it’s worth taking a chance on Chloe’s Court bouncing back to form and springing a surprise.
She isn’t the most consistent performer, but is now back to the same mark as when last successful at Wincanton in March last year and showed she is still capable at Lingfield in November. She was beaten just half a length into second that day and came clear of the rest.
Chloe’s Court showed little when well held at Hereford last month, but that sharp track probably didn’t play to her strengths and she is of much more interest at this stiff course.
Her two runs at Exeter have resulted in a win and a second and, if she is going to cash in on her falling rating, it looks likely to be here with useful claimer Harry Kimbler taking off 3lb.