There are five scheduled meetings today, four over jumps and the evening all-weather flat card at Chelmsford.
Sedgefield, Market Rasen and Taunton provide the afternoon NH action in the UK while Punchestown in Ireland has a seven race card commencing at 12:20.
14:50 Market Rasen - Galia Des Liteaux @ 10/11
This Dan Skelton-trained mare Galia Des Liteaux kept the highest company for most of last season, acquitting herself with merit, including at both the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals.
The only blip was when pulling up behind Thyme Hill at Kempton last Boxing Day but that was down to a couple of hefty errors and there has been a whole summer to iron out any jumping quirks that remain.
Finishing within hailing distance of The Real Whacker and Gerri Colombe on her last two starts looks very strong form heading into seasonal debut at listed level here and she was successful first time out last season in the same grade at Bangor.
This mare has some ambitious future entries so you feel she would need to be winning here to justify those loftier targets.
15:21 Market Rasen - Eavesdropping @ 6/1
Eavesdropping, the mount of Fergus Gregory, missed all of last season but was progressive before that break and can come back to belatedly complete a hat-trick of wins.
Having won her bumper at the second attempt at Fontwell in May 2021, Eavesdropping made an unspectacular start to her hurdling career when down the field at Huntingdon but improved markedly afterwards.
A third place at Southwell was followed by a maiden hurdle win at Lingfield where she reversed earlier form with Our Bill’s Aunt.
Finally, she won a five runner novice at Chepstow showing tenacity to hold off the runner-up by a neck. If the break hasn’t stunted her progress she could be well weighted for this handicap debut.
17:00 Chelmsford - Rochelle @ 8/15
Rochelle went off favourite at Newmarket on racecourse debut despite there being opposition from stellar yards of the likes of Gosden, Varian, Haggas and Beckett, so this filly must have been showing plenty at home.
The market support wasn’t far off being justified as Rochelle went down by just 1 ½ lengths and a nose in third and saw her race out well despite not being able to match the finishing kick of the impressive winner True Cyan.
The fourth, Mercury Day, has filled the runner-up berth on both subsequent outings, including here at Chelmsford. The seventh-placed Madame De Sevigne also took second spot on her next appearance, also here at Chelmsford.
Rochelle is out of a dam who won on the All-Weather and has bred winners that have also been successful on an artificial surface so you would think the Polytrack surface will hold no terrors for this inmate of the shrewd Peter Chapple-Hyam yard.
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