London – Alsa Mix should be in her element on Wednesday in the Masterstroke & Scalo Yorton Stallions Mares’ Novices’ Chase at Bangor.
Alan King’s grey was highly promising in the first half of last season, when her victory in the Grade 2 Ballymore Winter Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown took her then unbeaten career tally to four.
King thought her worthy of another rise in class to the top level for the Challow at Newbury and then the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival.
It was no disgrace to come up well short in both and the winning Irish pointer’s chasing debut at Listed level is an enticing prospect.
Alsa Mix faces some significant opposition in a select field of four – all of whom are regular winners and deservedly running in this class. She is highly likely to prove more at home in time over further than this 3500m too.
But forecast heavy ground should offset that, and she has already scored twice in similar conditions – so she has fine prospects of signposting another successful season with a return to the winner’s enclosure.
Commodore was seen only twice last season but won both times – and can continue his progress in the Anne Duchess Of Westminster Memorial Handicap Chase.
Trainer Venetia Williams won this race last year with Yala Enki and has two other recent successes on her record, with Howard’s Legacy and Summery Justice, so it is clearly one she targets.
Commodore will have had to improve, because he started last season rated 109 and now runs off 135 – but this seven-year-old has had just 11 career outings and should have plenty more to offer.
The Wolf absolutely bolted up on his debut for Olly Murphy and should follow up in the Alex Timpson Handicap Hurdle.
Set some stiff tasks by Warren Greatrex last season, he was entitled to win as easily as he did – but his current mark looks lenient.
De Name Evades Me has been a very consistent performer in recent seasons for Fergal O’Brien and deserves another win in the RGB Building Supplies Chase at Exeter.
Decent over timber, he made his chasing debut at Chepstow last month when he finished a respectable third to Ardlethen, who has subsequently gone close against Sam Spinner at Wetherby.
Once it was obvious he could not win, De Name Evades Me was not given a hard time – and he will know more about the game for that experience.
Esprit Du Large is another who can put the experience of his fencing debut to good use in the RGB Building Supplies Beginners’ Chase.
Evan Williams’ five-year-old found only shock winner The King Of May too good at Carlisle last month. He stayed on with plenty of promise over 3200m on his seasonal return that day – and an extra 600m at this similar course should play to his strengths.
Lossiemouth should build on the promise of his first start of the campaign too, in the Book Now For The Coral Scottish Grand National Maiden Hurdle up at Ayr.
Tom Lacey’s dual Bumper winner lost a shoe but still ran with credit when fifth on his hurdles debut at Aintree.
He is set an achievable task here and should be a threat to all.
Lacey can make his long trip north doubly worthwhile with Polydora in the Book Now For The Ayrshire Wedding Show Handicap Chase.
This seven-year-old has top weight on his first run of the season. But he has often fared well with cut in the ground and may prove more at home in these heavy conditions than prolific, penalised winner Bafana Blue. – Press Association
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