Huntingdon felt the full force of Storm Doris earlier, so we will never know how Triopas would have run. Grey Britain couldn’t get in from his wide draw, and he is a better horse than he showed today.
Inch Rise was agonisingly pipped for a place at Thurles and ensured the day ended on a losing note. Tomorrow I fancy one in the Devon National at Exeter, and Say My Name looks well worth a crack over this marathon trip of almost 3m 7f.
|Bob Buckler and Say My Name.
Bob Buckler’s 6yo son of Fleetwood has had just the one start over fences and, though he was well beaten in 3rd, he did finish off the race really well and he wasn’t stopping when he crossed the line.
That run came over 3 miles on soft ground at Chepstow off a mark of 125, and it wasn’t the first time that Say My Name shaped as though a real stamina test would suit.
He has a good record over timber here, hosing up in a handicap off 115 on this card last season by 15L (23f soft). His next run in a novices’ heat over c&d behind Wotzizname was also encouraging, and he stayed on well behind that horse for 2nd.
He was pulled up in a hot handicap at Punchestown on his final start last season, and he was entitled to need his comeback run over hurdles at Bangor back in November.
This could be a big ask on just his second chase start, but he at least gained some experience last time at Chepstow. The handicapper has also dropped him to 122, just 7lb higher than the mark off which he won so easily off here last year.
Given his liking for this track, it would be no surprise if this is his target for the season, and former Irish Grand National winning trainer Bob Buckler knows what is required in these long distance handicap chases.
Buckler has a respectable record overall at Exeter, sending out 11 winners and 57 placed horses from 240 runners. Liam Heard, on board for Say My Name’s impressive win here last season, is back on board, replacing an inexperienced claimer. Heard has ridden 11 winners and been placed on 20 of his 113 rides for Buckler.
Say My Name’s form figures for his last 3 runs here read 212 and, at odds of 22/1, he could reward each way support in a race that has thrown up a few big priced winners down through the years.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: 15.50 EXETER-SAY MY NAME E/W @ 22/1