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Graeme Rodway
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Horse Racing betting tips: Gwencily Berbas set for Devon National challenge

It's Devon National Day at Exeter on Friday and here Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway returns with his best bets for one of the track's feature meetings of the season.

2.10 Exeter

Midnight Callisto @ 1/1
1pt win

3.15 Exeter

Gwencily Berbas @ 8/1
1pt each-way

Midnight Callisto can bounce back to winning ways

Only three runners go to post for the 2m½f Mares' Handicap Hurdle (2.10) and it will be a big surprise if Midnight Callisto can't justify short odds for the Anthony Honeyball stable.

Honeyball won this race last year with Good Look Charm and Midnight Callisto has probably been aimed at the contest as she won a mares' maiden hurdle over course and distance last year. She scored by 26 lengths on that occasion and evidently holds an affinity for this track.

Midnight Callisto went on to win a 2m½f Mares' handicap at Stratford on good ground in April and that was another easy seven-length victory. She is only 2lb higher this time and shaped well when beaten only three lengths off 1lb higher than this last time.

That was in a 2m mares' handicap hurdle at Southwell when she made most of the running and was brushed aside only late by the improving winner At A Pinch. This is a far weaker contest than she faced there and Midnight Callisto could easily dominate it from the front.

The first-time blinkers she wore that day are retained and Midnight Callisto is too well treated to ignore now that she returns to the scene of one of her two career victories.

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Gwencily Berbas looks a National treasure

The Devon National Handicap Chase (3.15) is the most competitive race on the card, with ten runners going to post, and there should be a decent pace for the staying contest as a result.

That might bring out the best in Gwencily Berbas, who seems very well suited by a test of stamina and recorded a course-and-distance victory at this 3m6½f trip just over a year ago.

Gwencily Berbas won that 17-runner contest by nine and a half lengths and is now able to run off a mark 11lb lower than for that win. He is evidently well-handicapped on that sort of form.

He went on to finish fifth in the Eider at Newcastle and, while he has lost his form since, he showed more than on recent starts when fifth of six at Market Rasen a couple of weeks ago.

Gwencily Berbas changed tactics that day to go from the front and was still leading at the third last. It was only from that point that he gave way to the faster finishers over 3m.

The return to this longer trip will definitely be in Gwencily Berbas's favour and, while he is now 12 years old, his Market Rasen run last time was enough to convince me the fire still burns. He rates a rock solid each-way bet in a race that should set up well for his strengths.

Philip Armson is back in the saddle claiming 3lb and he is good value for the allowance. That is the clincher in a race where there doesn't look much between those at the head of the betting.

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