Fontwell Preview: Deputy Dan can deliver on chasing debut
All eyes will be on Deputy Dan as he makes his eagerly awaited chasing debut in the 2.25 at Fontwell today, and the classy gelding looks a worthy odds-on favourite to make it a winning one.
The Oliver Sherwood trained six-year-old went from strength to strength last season and developed into one of the top staying novice hurdlers in the country.
After opening his account over timber in facile fashion at Chepstow, the son of Westerner put in an impressive display to slam Masters Hill by nine lengths in a Grade 2 contest over 2m 5f at Warwick.
The gelding stayed on strongly in the mud to score by nine lengths and had subsequent Betfair Hurdle winner Splash Of Ginge a further seven lengths behind in third.
Deputy Dan then posted a career-best effort when a cracking second of 18 to Very Wood in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival, keeping on well to go down by 4 1/2 lengths after a slow jump at the last cost him vital ground.
That is top class form, and marks Deputy Dan out as a very exciting recruit to the jumping ranks.
With underfoot conditions fine, a clear round should be enough to see him take care of main rival Virak.
In the extended 2m 6f handicap hurdle (3.35), Kilmurvy looks to have been found an nice opportunity to score an overdue and deserved success.
The Jeremy Scott trained gelding had some decent form to his name in bumpers, finishing runner-up to African Gold on his racecourse debut at Stratford before opening his account at the third time of asking at Taunton when beating Carole’s Destrier by a short-head.
Kilmurvy then stayed on strongly to win on his debut over hurdles in a 14-runner affair at Taunton back in December 2012, and has since put in a number of highly creditable efforts in decent contests to make the frame on seven occasions.
They include a third of 16 to Magnifigue Etoile in a handicap at Stratford , and a staying on fifth of 21 to Mickie in a competitive class 3 contest at Newbury.
The six-year-old also posted a solid effort when last seen in action at Kempton, keeping on well to be beaten 3 1/4 lengths by handicap blot Cocktails At Dawn at Kempton off his current mark of 125.
This assignment looks weaker than the aforementioned three races, and with Matt Griffiths in the saddle taking 3lb of Kilmurvy’s back the son of Shantou looks the one they all have to beat.
1.55: Miles To Memphis
2.25: Deputy Dan (NAP)
3.00: Try Catch Me
3.35: Kilmurvy (NAP)
5.15: Popular Opinion
5.45: Chantara Rose