THE SHOE makes most appeal of this quintet although Hell's Bay and Erin's Own are obvious players. Nicky Henderson's ex-New Zealand performer can be forgiven to have got tired on his British debut having not seen the racecourse for quite some time. There was enough in that performance to suggest that he is worth persevering with. Hell's Bay has a number of questions to answer after a couple of high profile reverses. Today's better ground should help as will the obvious drop in class. He holds no fancy entries at the moment but it would be folly to discount anything that the champion trainer sends out on a Saturday. Erin's Own was well fancied on his debut in a Worcester bumper but has produced little to write home about. The yard are in form. Pheidias is more than capable of showing form but appears quite a nervous character who can easily be bullied out of a battle. Bouggler won a moderate staying handicap for Julie Camacho on the flat and will be making a National Hunt debut for Emma Lavelle this afternoon. This race revolves around whether Hell's Bay can live up to his lofty rating but we are prepared to chance The Shoe on this occasion.
Hell's Bay (FR) 16-1 (11-7) Held up in rear, headway approaching 3 out, chased leading pair soon after, driven and outpaced by front pair from 2 out, 3rd of 6, 26l behind Diamond Harry (11-7) at Newbury 2m 5f nov hdl Grd 1 (1) gs in Dec.
The Shoe (NZ) 4-1 (11-9) Raced wide, held up, headway to chase leaders after 3 out, driven to chase winner approaching 2 out until weakened before last, 3rd of 8, 17l behind Pause And Clause (11-4) at Kempton 2m 5f nov hdl (2) sft.
Erin's Own (IRE) 14-1 (10-12) Mid-division, lost touch 8th, tailed off when pulled up 2 out in race won by Aux Le Bahnn (11-5) at Folkestone 2m 6f nov hdl (4) gs in Jan, 14 ran.
Pheidias (IRE) 16-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders, led approaching 3 out, driven last, headed close home, 2nd of 14, 1/2l behind Falpiase (11-11) at Wetherby 2m 4f nov hcp hdl 0-110 (4) sft in Dec.
Bouggler 9-4fav (9-3) Tracked leader, led halfway, ridden 2f out, headed well over 1f out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 8, 2 1/2l behind Goldrenched (9-7) at Newcastle 2m 3yo hcp (5) hvy in Oct (Flat).