Uttoxeter preview: It’s time for A Little Magic
A Little Magic has shaped with stacks of promise in two runs, and looks a worthy favourite to open his account in the 2m novices’ hurdle on today’s seven-race card at Uttoxeter (14.55).
After shaping far better than his final finishing position of sixth suggests on his debut over 2m 4f at this venue, the Jonjo O’Neill trained gelding put in a much improved effort when runner-up to Roadie Joe over 2m at Warwick.
The four-year-old raced keenly at the rear in the early stages and found himself short of room two from home before running on well to go down by just 1 1/4 lengths.
Roadie Joe has since gone on to land the Grade 2 Persian War Novices’ Hurdle at Chepstow, and that gives the form a rock solid look in the context of this contest.
A Little Magic is clearly a talented sort who going the right way and, with Richard Johnson in the saddle, can get the better of hurdling debutant Board Of Trade to land the spoils.
Trainer Charlie Longsdon has his team in flying form, and Simply The West can provide him with another winner in the 2m 6f novices’ handicap chase (16.40).
He didn’t really progress as expected over hurdles last season, but always looked the type that would make up into a decent chaser.
That view was confirmed when Simply The West finished a highly promising three length runner-up to Vieux Lion Rouge on debut over the larger obstacles at Towcester.
The six-year-old lost ground when stumbling at the third but quickly recovered and travelled powerfully into the contest.
Simply The West cruised into contention three from home and after leading briefly between the final two was unable to find any extra approaching the last.
It was a cracking effort against a horse rated 139 over hurdles, and Vieux Lion Rouge has gone on to score again since.
If building on that run, Simply The West looks weighted to take all the beating off what looks a lenient opening chase mark of 125.
13.50: Bruce Almighty
14.20: Duke Of Sonning
14.55: A Little Magic (NAP)
16.05: Rye House (IRE)
16.40: Simply The West (NB)
17.10: Bobby Dove