Goosen Maverick Can Be Top Gun At Exeter

Nerual ran a lovely race for us on Sunday at Fairyhouse, and with a clearer run she might have gone even closer than 4th. I was worried when she lost her place in the middle part of the race, but she travelled back into it nicely and she stayed on well in the closing stages. You would imagine she will stay even further in time, and she has a race in her off her current mark.

David Noonan keeps the faith with Goosen Maverick.

Tomorrow at Exeter there has been a big market move for the Sue Gardner trained horse Relentless in the 13.30, a 23f class 5 handicap. He is as short as 16/1 in places now after opening up at 50s, and the Gardner’s have form when it comes to landing a touch at silly odds (Couer Blimey last year). The ex John Gosden horse has the tongue tie on for the first time, and they must be expecting the big step up in trip and the soft ground to suit.

He is by Dylan Thomas and, while he has produced some useful hurdlers, most have been effective over the minimum trip of 16f. He is not a sire that is renowned for producing stayers on the flat either, and he also has a much better strike rate on quick ground. Relentless could make a fool of me and hack up off his mark of 73, but I would rather be with the Grant Cann trained handicap debutant Goosen Maverick.

This 6yo so of Morozov has failed to pull up any trees in three hurdle starts for Cann, but he showed a glimmer of ability under a considerate ride by David Noonan here on good ground back in November (21.5f). He stayed on past beaten horses late on for 4th and, although he was beaten 46L for the win, he shaped as though a step up in trip would suit.

His best point to point run came over 24f on heavy ground at Maralin, and he finished 4th in that race beaten 23L. That form has worked out very well, with the first two finishers and the last home winning under rules since. The 3rd, 5th and 6th went on to win point to points afterwards too, so while he was well beaten it was still a good effort.

He was strangely dropped in trip for his final two maiden runs at Chepstow (19.5f) and Taunton (16.5f), both on good ground. He has been handed a mark of just 95 for his handicap debut, and that could turn out to underestimate his ability. The step up to 23f, the return to Exeter and the soft ground all look sure to suit, and David Noonan keeps the faith. His 3lb claim could turn out to be crucial, and I can’t resist having a small each way interest at odds of 33/1 in what looks a wide open handicap hurdle.

STEVOS’ SELECTION: 13.30 EXETER: GOOSEN MAVERICK E/W 33/1

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