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Exeter Preview: River Dancing poised to follow-up

River Dancing scored in good style last time out, and can make light of a 7lb penalty to follow-up in the 2m 7f handicap hurdle at Exeter today (16:10).

The Anthony Honeyball trained gelding took advantage of a drop in the weights to land a gamble at Taunton eight days ago when beating Ordensritter by a length.

After being held-up at the rear by jockey Aidan Coleman, River Dancing made smooth headway to take up the running two from home and found plenty after the last to score with a bit more in hand than the winning margin suggests.

It’s no surprise to see connections turn him out quickly under a 7lb penalty before the handicapper has his say and, off a rating of 82, River Dancing remains very well-treated on the pick of his form.

The eight-year-old was rated as high as 94 in the past, and now that he has struck form could have plenty more to offer.

Another plus is that River Dancing once again has the services of Coleman in the saddle and, although this is a better race than last time, it means that the son of Muhtarram gets in off just 10st 3lb and receives weight from all his rivals.

In the 2m 3f handicap hurdle (14:35), Quick Decisson is a fascinating contender now switched back to the smaller obstacles.

The seven-year-old hasn’t been at his best over fences of late, but is now able to run off the same mark (116) as when last successful as a result.

That win came in a class 3 handicap hurdle at Wincanton back in January of last year, where Quick Decisson only had to be driven out to beat Alavian by 3 1/4 lengths.

The handicapper put Quick Decisson up 11lb for that win to 127, and connections clearly thought that the son of Azamour was capable of winning of it as he was sent of the 4/1 favourite for a hot class to contest at Cheltenham, in which he finished sixth of 10 to the very useful Lac Fontana.

This race is far easier and taking jockey Michael Nolan’s 3lb claim into account, Quick Decisson is potentially very well-treated.

Another plus is that Hobbs has a strike rate of 21% with his runners at the track in the past 12 months (10 wins and 12 placed from 47 runners), and Quick Decisson looks to have plenty going for him in what looks a winnable contest.

Selections:
14.00: Murtys Delight
14.35: Quick Decisson (NB)
15.05: Benenden
15.40: On Trend
16.10: River Dancing (NAP)
16.45: Celestino
17.15: Aerial