Wincanton preview: Intense has Very strong claims

Very Intense looks weighted to take all the beating in the 2m handicap hurdle at Wincanton today (15.05) now dropped in class.

The gelding showed plenty of ability in three runs on the level when trained in Ireland by Jim Bolger, including when second in an 18-runner maiden at Navan where he finished 2 3/4 lengths in front of Thunder Zone who has developed into a useful juvenile hurdler rated 135.

Very Intense then joined trainer Tom Lacey and was very highly tried on his hurdling debut when fourth of six to subsequent Triumph Hurdle winner Peace And Co in a Grade 2 contest at Doncaster.

Although eventually beaten 56 lengths, the four-year-old made headway three from home before weakening badly approaching the last and didn’t shape too badly.

Very Intense then disappointed in his next two starts, before running far better last time out on his handicap debut at Newton Abbot when third to Ice Tres in a class 4 contest.

The son of Intense Focus seemed to appreciate the better ground, and kept on nicely to be beaten just under four lengths without being unduly knocked about.

It was an effort which there was better to come, and Very Intense is now able to race in this lower grade class 5 affair off an unchanged mark off just 97.

With further improvement on the cards, it gives Very Intense a great chance to open his account.

I’m In Charge has a good record at the track and can defy a career-high make to further enhance it in the 3m 2f handicap chase (14.35).

The gelding landed back-to-back contests over course and distance in October, and also ran well to finish third on his only other visit to the venue two starts back after a 139 day break.

I’m In Charge looked a bit ring rusty that day, and showed the benefit of the outing when getting back on the winning trail at Fontwell last month.

Trained by Grant Cann, the nine-year-old scored readily by six lengths, and although now 9lb higher in the weights that may not be enough to stop him going in again given his progressive profile.

The quick ground and return to this venue are also big pluses, and unlike the vast majority of his rivals I’m In Charge comes into the contest at the top of his game.

14.05: Businessmoney Judi
14.35: I’m In Charge (NB)
15.05: Very Intense (NAP)
15.35: Bantam
16.05: Vicente
16.35: Divine Intavention
17.05: Terra Firma