Race 2 – Bangor 12:45am
6. Buttercup: Venetia Williams has her string in good form at present, saddling five winners since Boxing Day, and the ex-French mare Buttercup can add to the yard’s recent haul of winners. Admittedly, Buttercup was a shade disappointing on the whole over hurdles last season, turned over a 5/2-on on one occasion, but she jumped with aplomb on last month’s chase debut at Uttoxeter (third of eight to Return Flight) and her current mark looks a fair one. She’s still only six, too, so there’s plenty of time for her excellent yard to get the best out of her.
BACK – Buttercup
Race 5 – Musselburgh 1:30am
3. Shotofwine: It’s hard to pin down exactly what caused Shotofwine to show improved form when winning at Market Rasen at last time, whether it was switching to a handicap, wearing a tongue for the first time or stepping up to 23 furlongs. Whatever it was, it means Shotofwine is now a horse to be positive about, and he can follow up off a 7 lb higher mark. Shotofwine landed a touch that day, sent off at 3/1 in the end, and his rise could well underestimate him.
BACK – Shotofwine
Race 5 – Newcastle 3:10am
2. Dr Julius No: Leicester maiden winner Dr Julius No was ultimately impressive when making a winning handicap debut at Wolverhampton last month, and given that performance came on the back of a seven-month break, there should be more to come from him. A 4 lb rise for Dr Julius No looks pretty lenient, for all the second and third have been beaten since, and the combination of Ralph Beckett and Richard Kingscote is always one to keep on your side. Dr Julius No’s maiden win in rock-solid form anyway, as some of those vanquished were Dolokhov and King of Spades, now rated Timeform-rated 92 and 104 respectively.
BACK – Dr Julius No