Taunton Preview: Minister ready to cause Mayhem
Minister Of Mayhem makes his handicap debut over hurdles on his first run for David Pipe in the finale at Ludlow today (4.00) and can take advantage of what could be a very lenient opening mark to make it winning one.
The gelding was a fair maiden on the level when trained in Ireland by Ger Lyons, finishing runner-up on three occasions and being rated as high as 78.
Although the four-year-old failed to cut any ice in three spins over hurdles after joining Nick Mitchell, he has been allotted an opening handicap mark of just 85 as a result.
That makes Minsiter Of Mayhem potentially thrown-in at the weights on his flat form, and the switch to Pipe is a positive one.
The Pond House handler has proved time and time again that he is the master at improving horses and placing them to the maximum effect, and he could not have found a weaker class 5 contest for Minister Of Mayhem to make his handicap debut.
It’s also interesting that connections are fitting the son of Sakhee’s Secret with the tongue-tie for the first time, and this looks a golden opportunity for Minister Of Mayhem to notch a first career success.
Trainer Neil Mulholland has his team in good form and Barton Heather can provide him with another winner in the 3m 1f handicap hurdle (2.55).
The five-year-old shaped as if needing the outing when fourth on seasonal reappearance and showed the benefit of that run when bolting up by 13 lengths at Fakenham nine days ago.
Barton Heather cruised into the contest three from home and pulled effortlessly clear to win with tons in hand.
The daughter of Midnight Legend is due to go up 10lb for that success, so is officlaly 3lb “well-in” turned out quickly under a 7lb penalty and weighted to take all the beating.
Ballyegan landed a gamble over course and distance two weeks ago and can follow-up in the 2m 7f handicap chase (3.25).
The nine-year-old kept on strongly to beat Dushy Valley by four lengths off a mark of 68, and although now 7lb higher remains very well-treated.
The son of Saddlers’ Hall has been rated as high as 108 in the past, so his current mark of 75 looks more than exploitable.
1.10: Assam Black
2.20: Cloudy Spirit
2.55: Barton Heather (NB)
4.00: Minister Of Mayhem (NAP)