Cannon to fire at Fontwell
Tom Cannon has been tipped for another stellar return from Fontwell Park.
A multiple champion jockey at the course, the Chilworth rider could be celebrating a hat-trick if our selections come on Monday.
Be Daring, Hit The Highway and Puppet Warrior have all made the shortlist for the six-race card as the West Sussex track begins its 2018 programme.
Previous course form is always key at Fontwell – with the figure-of-eight chase circuit presenting a unique test for horse and jockey.
The hill up to the finish may not be as famous as that of Cheltenham but it still takes an extra effort to get home.
Meanwhile, conditions will be very testing – with the track only deemed fit for racing after passing an inspection on Sunday, in the wake of Storm Eleanor.
The highlight of the card is the Injured Jockeys Fund Handicap Hurdle, raced over 2m 3f, at 2.45pm.
HIT THE HIGHWAY, from Giles Smyly’s stable, seems to be on a decent mark – with previous good form on the predicted heavy ground and at Fontwell.
Gary Moore’s Chris Pea Green is the star of the race. But despite numerous Cheltenham Festival appearances, he has been finding it tough of late.
Of the rest, Druid’s Folly may well be on a winnable mark and Robert Walford’s stable are in good form. But back Cannon to fire on Hit The Highway.
The Surrey jockey can use BE DARING’s course experience to produce a big run at a good price in the open-looking Racing Welfare Handicap Hurdle at 1.45pm.
The Peter Bowen-trained Princess Roania also seems to be on a competitive mark and could provide the biggest threat.
And if all goes to plan, Cannon can complete his treble on Nick Gifford’s PUPPET WARRIOR in the Happy Birthday Tom Maiden Hurdle at 3.45pm.
With four seconds in six career runs, this could be the perfect chance to get off the mark and bounce back from a disappointing run last time out, albeit in better company.
Mellow Ben and Seaston Spirit arrive at Fontwell will the best form of the remaining eight contenders.
At 3m 2f, the Follow Us On Twitter @FontwellPark Handicap Chase at 2.45pm will be a test of stamina.
Good jumping will be vital to conserve energy and trainer Colin Tizzard is one of the best with horses over the bigger obstacles.
He saddles ALLCHILLEDOUT, who has form over the trip and on heavy ground.
Greyed A, representing Dr Richard Newland, seemed to relish the longer trip and similar conditions last time out at Fontwell and may be another worth considering.
And while Linda Jewell and Johnny Farrelly don’t have the biggest of yards, Itoldyou and Finish The Story are two 12-year-olds on competitive marks with good course form.
Winning at that age is never easy but the pair are tough, old competitors who will relish the challenge.
Action gets under way with the EBF Mares’ National Hunt Maiden Hurdle at 1.15pm, when BEE CROSSING and Scorpion Princess will be the ones to beat.
The former, who is trained in Wiltshire by Seamus Mullins, seemingly ran into a good one on debut and can be expected to go one better than her second-place finish that time.
In the Racing Welfare 24 Hour Helpline 08006300443 Handicap Chase at 3.15pm, Gary Moore’s Bagging Turf and NATIVE ROBIN, for Jeremy Scott, are the two that jump off the page.
Bagging Turf is highly inconsistent, so on a going day he could romp home.
However, it may pay to stick with Scott, who is operating at 31-per-cent win strike-rate at the moment and turns out Native Robin before a penalty for winning last time out.
Selections: 1.15 Bee Crossing; 1.45 Be Daring; 2.15 Allchilledout; 2.45 Hit The Highway; 3.15 Native Robin; 3.45 Puppet Warrior