Andrew Balding: Bobby Wheeler ended a lengthy losing spell when winning at Kempton at the start of the month and can build on that today with victory in the Play Starburst Slot At sunbets.co.uk/vegas Handicap at Lingfield.
Clive Cox’s runner had not got his head in front since July 2016 and had fallen right down the ratings to 82, with his burden further lightened by 3kg claimer Amelia Glass.
She clearly got a good tune out of the five-year-old, making every metre of the running to come home the best part of three lengths clear with plenty still seemingly in the tank.
Bobby Wheeler has paid for that effort with a steep hike back to the handicap to a mark of 90, but he clocked a decent time that day and with Glass again using her claim, this Pivotal gelding is one for the short list.
Odds On Oli has seemingly found his groove of late and can score a first career success in the 32Red.com Handicap.
This three-year-old has been making steady progress since being dropped in company, placing on each of his last two starts at Newcastle and Southwell.
He did not seem to particularly enjoy the Southwell surface but kept on regardless, although he was beaten a fair distance by a wide-margin winner. Dropped 5kg for that effort, he should be more at home back on Polytrack.
Spare Parts has been one of the stories of the winter and can keep the fairytale going by winning the sunbets.co.uk Handicap at Wolverhampton. Phil McEntee’s charge has won five times already this year but had to settle for second on his most recent outing at Chelmsford, coming up against what appeared to be a decent winner.
Spare Parts started 2018 rated 49 and lines up here on 80, so clearly life is just getting tougher for him but he keeps responding and can do so again.
Pure Vision can bounce back from defeat at Chepstow last time by winning the 188Bet Cheltenham Festival Preview 6th March Chase at Exeter. This seven-year-old will be having just his fourth outing over fences here and while he was beaten into fourth last time, there was still plenty to like about his performance.
Pure Vision was a winner on his second outing over fences at Ffos Las in November and after being raised 3kg for that, it was no surprise to see him find life a bit tougher last time. However, he ran on well at the finish in testing conditions in what was a decent event, so it may be too soon to rule him out of the equation here.
Yanmare seems to thrive over an extreme distance and he can make the most of bottom weight in the Higos Insurance Services Devon National Handicap Chase. A winner over the same extended 6000m course he faces here on his penultimate start, Yanmare has since disappointed when dropped back in trip.
Nigel Twiston-Davies gives him much more of a stamina test again now and he can
rise to the challenge.
Cobra De Mai can win Warwick’s Entire Cheltenham Festival On Racing UK Budbrooke Handicap Chase, while Eolian is the pick in the Whitson Bloodstock & Olly Murphy Racing Juvenile Hurdle. Trained by Murphy, Eolian showed an aptitude for heavy ground when winning on the Flat for previous handler . Press Association