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Stratford Preview: Mount Vesuvius primed for repeat bid

Stratford stages a competitive seven-race card this afternoon, and Mount Vesuvius looks to hold outstanding claims of landing a repeat success in the 2m 1f handicap hurdle (3.55).

The Paul Henderson trained gelding won twice last season, landing this contest off a mark of 97 before following up at Sedgefield off 104.

This six-year-old went on to finish in the frame off ratings of 111 and 109, but has failed to trouble the judge in six runs this season.

However, that has resulted in the handicapper cutting Mount Vesuvius plenty of slack and he now gets into this off just 100.

That gives the son of Spartacus major claims from a handicapping perspective, and there is little doubt that this would have been his target for some time.

Mount Vesuvius also ran his best race of the season last time out when a staying on fourth at Fontwell, and if he can build on that, then a repeat victory in this is very much on the cards.

Trainer Philip Hobbs has a strike rate of 22 per cent with his runners at the track in the past 12 months, and No Likey can further enhance it by landing the 2m 2f handicap chase (2.50).

The gelding was a useful hurdler, and looks likely to develop into an even better chaser judged on three starts over the larger obstacles.

After shaping with plenty of promise when runner-up on his chasing debut, No Likey won in good style at Uttoxeter off a mark of 110 and posted a solid effort off 8lb higher last time out when third at Worcester.

This son of Helissio still has relatively few miles on the clock and remains open to futher progress, so should make the most of the 9lb he receives on hat-trick seeker Drumlang to land the spoils.

In the 2m 7f handicap chase (4.35), West End is impossible to oppose under a 7lb penalty after a facile success last time out.

The Kim Bailey trained gelding scored by 18 lengths at Southwell without hardly having to break sweat and is due to go up 16lbs for that success.

It’s therefore no surprise to see connections turn him out quickly under a penalty, as it means West End is 9lb “well-in” at the weights.

That is going to make the seven-year-old very tough to beat, especially with promising claimer Ed Cookson is the saddle taking another 5lb off West End’s back.

Selections:
1.50: Mr Gallivanter
2.20: Mile House
2.50: No Likey
3.25: Flashy Star
3.55: Mount Vesuvius (NAP)
4.25: West End (NB)
4.55: Oldeddietherebel