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Exeter Preview: Dunraven can Storm to success

Dunraven Storm can take advantage of a significant drop in class to get back on the winning trail in the 2m 4f novices’ chase at Exeter today (3.55).

The Philip Hobbs trained gelding was a useful hurdler who has enjoyed a cracking novice chase campaign this season.

After opening his account in good style over 2m 2f at this venue, the 10-year-old put in a gutsy effort to follow-up in a Grade 2 contest at Cheltenham when digging deep to beat the classy Vibrato Valtat by 1 3/4 lengths.

Dunraven Storm was then far from disgraced when a two length runner-up to that rival in the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown, and ran better than the final finishing position suggests in a similar grade affair at Acot when third to Ptit Zig.

The son of Presenting was then pitched into the deep-end in the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival last week and pressed the eventual winner Un De Sceaux until the fourth before making mistakes and eventually being pulled-up.

The fact that connections are turning Dunraven Storm out so quickly suggests he has come out of the race well, and he looks the one to beat now dropped down into class 3 company.

In the 2m 3f hurdle contest earlier on the card (2.45), Ice Konig is an interesting contender on handicap debut and can go well at a big price.

The gelding was a winner on the flat in France before joining trainer Jimmy Frost and has shaped well on several occasions over the obstacles without being unduly knocked about.

Those runs include a keeping on third to A Tail Of Intrique at Newcastle and an eye-catching sixth of 16 to the very useful Jollyallan at this track over 2m 1f in what was a strong contest for the grade.

The six-year-old stayed on from a remote position to be beaten 41 lengths in the latter, leaving the distinct impression that there could be more to come when tackling handicaps.

Ice Konig also shaped better than the bare result last time out over 2m 1f at this venue when fourth to Risk A Fine, and the step up in trip to 2m 3f trip looks sure to suit.

An opening mark of 107 does not look too harsh if Ice Konig can build on those efforts, and the son of Epalo looks capable of making his presence felt in what is a wide open contest.

Selections:

2.10: Quebec

2.45: Ice Konig (NB)

3.20: Jay Are

3.55: Dunraven Storm (NAP)

4.30: Midnight Request

5.05: Swincombe Star