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Exeter Preview: Lochnagar poised to follow-up

Lochnagar looked a handicapper to keep onside when bolting up last time out and can defy a penalty to follow-up in the 2m 1f hurdle at Exeter today (1.20).

The gelding had some useful form on the flat when trained in Germany, winning twice and being placed on several occasions to earn an official rating of 80.

Lochnagar then joined trainer Venetia Williams at the start of the year and shaped with bags of promise in his first four runs over hurdles without being knocked about.

The five-year-old particularly caught the eye on his third start when fourth of 16 to the now 130-rated Chase The Wind at Wincanton, and also ran really well when fifth of 14 to Taj Badalandabad at Chepstow on seasonal reappearance.

Lochnagar was allotted an opening handicap mark of 112 on the back of those efforts and made a mockery of it when sluicing up by nine lengths at Uttoxeter.

The son of Sholokhov travelled strongly throughout at the head of affairs and pulled readily clear to win easing down with any amount in hand.

It was a performance which suggested Lonchnagar was well ahead of the assessor, and it’s no surprise to see connections turn him out quickly under a 7lb penalty as he is due to race off 13lb higher in future engagements.

That makes Lochnagar 6lb “well-in” at the weights, and with conditions fine and Aidan Coleman in the saddle he is going to be very hard to beat.

In the extended 2m 5f amateur riders’ handicap that closes the card (3.50), Aroseforoscar can go well at a big price.

The Chris Down trained mare hinted at ability in maiden and novice hurdles, but failed to shine in her first three starts in handicaps after being allotted and opening mark of 90.

However that resulted in the five-year-old falling in the weights and the daughter of Oscar duly put in a much improved performance last time out over course and distance when fourth to Bredon Hill Lad off today’s mark of 82.

Aroseforoscar raced strongly at the head of affairs until getting headed three out, and was beaten only six lengths after blundering badly at the final flight.

She now meets the winner on 4lb better terms and is also 5lb better off with the third home Unefille De Guye.

That should enable Aroseforoscar to be really competitive, and she looks weighted to run a huge race.

Selections:
12.50: Nitrogen
1.20: Lochnagar (NAP)
1.50: Brick Red
2.20: Midnight Belle
2.50: Olympian Boy
3.20: Miss Estela
3.50: Aroseforoscar (NB)