Exeter preview: Dunraven can Storm to success
David Metcalf | December 17, 2015
Dunraven Storm ran a blinder when runner-up last time out and can go one better to land the 2m 1f Graduation Chase on today’s card at Exeter (13.50).
The Philip Hobbs trained gelding was in good form in the early part of last season, scoring in good style first time up over course and distance before following up with a 1 3/4 length victory over Vibrato Valtat in a Grade 2 novice chase at Cheltenham.
Dunraven Storm stayed on strongly in the latter to beat a very useful sort now rated 162, and the form reads very well in the context of this contest.
The 10-year-old went on finish a solid to Claret Cloak at Kempton back in May, and also ran a cracker on his second start this season when third of 12 to Boondooma in a competitive handicap at Cheltenham.
Dunraven Storm then ran as well as could be expected when fourth in the Grade 1 Haldon Gold Cup at this venue, before looking an unlucky loser last time out at Ascot when making a series of horrendous blunders and finishing a 3 3/4 length runner-up to Dresden.
Given how the latter panned out it was a terrific effort, and Dunraven Storm now drops down in grade.
Off an official rating of 149 he has 3lbs an upwards in hand on his rivals, and granted good round of jumping that gives Dunraven Storm outstanding claims of getting back on the winning trail.
Harry Fry at the double?
Elswhere on the card, in-form trainer Harry Fry looks to have major claims of landing a double with Jessber’s Dream and Bitofapuzzle.
The former runs in the 2m 2f novices’ hurdle that opens proceedings (12.50), and looked smart prospect when making a winning debut over the obstacles at Lingfield last month.
Jessber’s Dream stayed on strongly to pull clear and win by 11 lengths, and the manner of the success suggested the five-year-old needed keeping firmly onside.
Bitofapuzzle makes her eagerly awaited debut over fences in the 2m 3f Mares Novices’ Chase (14.20) and looks a cut above her rivals.
The seven-year-old was a top class hurdler who won three times last season and finished an excellent third in the Grade 1 Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
That form sets a very high standard, and barring accidents Bitofapuzzle should have little difficulty landing the spoils en route to much better things.
12.50: Jessber’s Dream (NB)
13.20: For Good Measure
13.50: Dunraven Storm
14.50: Red Riverman
15.20: Highway Storm
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