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Huntingdon Preview: Toothemoonandback can eclipse rivals

Tothemoonandback looked miles ahead of the assessor when scoring last time out and can shrug aside a 7lb penalty to follow-up in the 3m handicap chase at Huntingdon today 1.10.

The Gary Moore trained gelding has only had three starts over the larger obstacles, and posted a cracking effort in the second of those when chasing home the now 131-rated Standing Ovation at Wincanton.

The six-year-old stayed on well to go down by 1/2 lengths after a couple of errors late on, and the pair pulled 13 lengths clear of the field.

It was a highly promising effort, and Tothemoonandback duly took advantage of a lenient opening mark of 105 when bolting up on handicap debut at Plumpton eight days ago.

The son of Dr Massini travelled strong throughout and readily pulled clear when asked to score with far more in hand than the 3 1/4 length winning margin suggests.

It’s no surprise that connections have decided to turn Tothemoonandback out quickly under a penalty, and on his run behind Standing Ovation he looks thrown-in off a mark of 112.

Moore has also decided to offset the penalty by booking 10lb claimer George Gorman to do the steering, and if taking his claim into account Tothemoonandback is effectively running off 3lb lower than when scoring at Plumpton.

Jockey Richard Johnson has a 33% strike rate when teaming up with trainer Stuart Gollings in the past 12 months, and that makes Jac The Legend a fascinating contender in the opening 2m 5f handicap hurdle (12.40).

The gelding has yet to make any impact in four runs over hurdles, but it’s still early days and he had some very smart bumper form to his name.

The five-year-old was beaten just a neck by Ballyboley at Southwell on his second start under rules, and the winner is a smart sort who went on to land another two contests including the Champion bumper at Aintree.

That is strong form, and suggests that Jac The Legend is well-treated off a mark of 100 when things do click into place over hurdles.

This class 4 contest certainly won’t take much winning, and with the stable in form and Johnson in the saddle it looks a nice opening for Jac The Legend to get off the mark.

Selections:
12.40: Jac The Legend (NB)
1.10: Tothemoonandback (NAP)
1.40: El Namoose
2.10: Volnay De Thaix
2.40: Ned Stark
3.10: Favorite Girl
3.40: Avenue Of Honour