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Wincanton Preview: Buck’s Bond primed for repeat bid

Buck’s Bond shaped really well on seasonal reappearance and looks weighted to win the Silver Buck Handicap Chase at Wincanton today (2.15) for the second year in succession.

The Paul Nicholls trained gelding made virtually all to easily beat Allthekingshorses by nine lengths 12 months ago off a mark of 119 and gets into this year’s renewal off just 2lb higher.

That gives the eight-year-old outstanding claims at the weights, and the son of Turgeon warmed up for the defence of his crown with a highly encouraging third of nine to Pantxao at the track back in October.

Buck’s Bond shaped as if needing the run, his first for 171 days, making a mistake at the first and final fence before weakening close home to be beaten just 1 1/2 lengths.

It was a solid effort considering that many of Nicholls’ runners were needing a run at the time and should have put Buck’s Bond spot on for this.

With the yard now in fine form and Sam Twiston-Davies in the saddle, Buck’s Bond looks the one they all have to beat.

In the 2m 6f novices’ handicap hurdle (1.45), Muckle Roe is potentially well-treated on the pick of his form and looks worth siding with now stepped up in trip.

The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained gelding shaped with promise in maiden/novice hurdles last season, most notably when runner-up to the now 134-rated Mountain King in a 13-runner contest at Ludlow where after making good headway five from home and hitting three out he stayed on well to be beaten 12 lengths.

That form looks srong in the context of this contest and makes Muckle Roe’s current mark of 114 look exploitable.

The five-year-old has also shaped well in two starts this season, weakening late on to finish fourth at Southwell after travelling strongly for much of the race on reappearance and then staying on late to finish sixth to Little Boy Boru in a decent class 3 contest at Sandown last time out over 2m 4f.

Muckle Roe may well improve for the step up trip this afternoon judged by the latter, and the drop back down into class 4 company is another plus.

His handler also has a 20% strike rate with runners at the venue in the past 12 months (two winners and two placed from 10 runners), and with promising claimer Ryan Hatch in the saddle taking 5lb of Muckle Roe’s back everything looks in place for a big run.

Selections:
12.35: Sportsreport
1.10: Bitofapuzzle
1.45: Muckle Roe (NB)
2.15: Buck’s Bond (NAP)
2.45: Rayvin Black
3.20: Quite By Chance
3.50: Wishing And Hoping