The UK and Ireland’s racing programme has been decimated on Tuesday as the lingering effects of the cold snap caused abandonments at Exeter, Leicester and Market Rasen for their jumps cards.
That leaves Down Royal as the lone surviving National Hunt meeting, while evening fare Southwell comes on their Tapeta track.
Our Tuesday fancies include an in-form chaser looking to end a sequence of near misses when he heads for Down Royal for the second time this season.
Down Royal 3.35 – Archies Charm @ 3/1
Down Royal 1.15 – An Mhi @ 4/1
Southwell 5.30 – Ring Of Gold @ 11/2
The Madri Excepcional Handicap Chase (3.35) may well offer ARCHIES CHARM (3/1) a good opportunity to register an overdue win this season.
The Shantou gelding began with a spin over hurdles at Galway in October before coming here for their big meeting in November and chasing home bang in-form Final Orders over C&D – the winner at that time completing the third victory of what now stands at a sequence of four after his Leopardstown win at Christmas.
Archies Charm, meanwhile, went to Gowran Park in late November and was beaten into third as favourite, perhaps unsuited by very testing ground that day coming down in trip. He also landed at Leopardstown over Christmas and was second behind a well-handicapped winner in Seddon over 2m4f.
With his rider today claiming 5lb, he’s effectively off the same mark as when narrowly beaten over this C&D in November (when the front two were a long way clear) and the return to this distance is a big positive while yielding to soft conditions are just fine.
Gordon Elliott and Davy Russell will bid to win this Down Royal novice hurdle for the second year running, having scored 12 months ago with Rodaniche. They team up now with AN MHI, as Russell continues his farewell tour having come out of retirement on short-term deal to deputise for the injured Jack Kennedy.
This Walk In The Park gelding was a remote second behind ante-post Supreme Novices’ Hurdle favourite Facile Vega at Fairyhouse (2m, good to yielding) in his first completed hurdles start in early December and has since finished second best behind Indiana Dream at the same track on New Year’s Day over 2m4f on soft ground, that winner also being unbeaten and hailing from the Willie Mullins string.
Though ultimately no match for the winner, he did well to hold on for second and with Mullins not represented here, it looks a good spot for An Mhi to register.
RING OF GOLD (11/2) came with a piercing late run to win over 7f at Kempton on his penultimate start in November and can perhaps be forgiven having only managed fourth here over the mile just before Christmas.
He was caught further back than ideal that day, and his case wasn’t aided by a sedate pace through much of the contest that made it tough for those seeking to close to get any traction on the leaders.
He is worth another try of this mark and with the prospect of a stronger pace this evening.