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Exeter: Firing on all cylinders

Come Out Firing can hit the target in the Weatherbys Bloodstock Insurance Handicap Hurdle at Exeter today.

Michael Blake's nine-year-old has been well placed by connections over the years, and looks particularly well poised for this assignment.

Come Out Firing made an encouraging return to fencing at Hereford last month, finishing second on ground which was virtually bottomless.

And as he has done all of his winning on a far sounder surface, that has to be considered a pretty solid effort.

With conditions likely to be much more conducive in Devon, Blake's representative must go close off a mark of 107.

Stolen Thunder is also taken to deliver the goods in the Weatherbys Bank Novices' Hurdle.

Impressive winner on his debut at Uttoxeter, there was then evidently something not quite right when he was pulled up at Towcester next time up.

There was not a great deal wrong on his return at Hereford, however, as Stolen Thunder finished third behind Cucumber Run in what looked a fair race.

Emma Lavelle's six-year-old was crying out for a more exacting trip that day, so should be in his element over just shy of three miles.

A chance can be taken on Jukebox Melody in the “National Hunt” Novices' Hurdle at Newcastle today.

Malcolm Jefferson's five-year-old had seemed destined for a bright future over hurdles when winning two bumpers on the spin.

It all unravelled quite spectacularly on his debut over flights at Kelso, though, when he had to be pulled up after taking a worryingly wide route approaching three out.

He remains a talented individual on his bumper form, however, and can set the record straight here as long as Jefferson has him back on the straight and narrow.

Southwell maestro La Capriosa can rack up a seventh course success when she goes for gold in the Visit Handicap.

The Paul Dixon-owned sprinter is something of standing dish at the track, having competed 21 times on the Nottinghamshire Fibresand.

And now in the trusty hands of David Nicholls, the five-year-old mare looks to have finally been let in lightly by the handicapper.

La Capriosa is 2lb lower than her success here last November, and showed on her last start that the old fires are again igniting into action.

The Kyllachy mare endeavoured to make all of the running under Billy Cray before fading out of contention close home, eventually taking fourth spot.

That was much more like it, though, especially as front-running tactics have consistently paved the way for great riches over the years.

Although a wide draw might not do her any favours, she has enough class to jump from trap 10 and not see another rival.

Premier League can hit the back of the net in the Southwell Racecourse For Conferences Handicap.

Julia Feilden's four-year-old has been in fair form this year, albeit at a low level, but should not be discounted here judged by his last visit to Southwell when he stayed on for second.

Unlike most of his rivals, Premier League probably still has a little scope for progress given he has only raced eight times in his career.

lKauto Star features among the 90 entries for the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown on April 23.

The dual Gold Cup winner is one of 10 possibles for champion trainer Paul Nicholls, with the Sir Alex Ferguson-owned What A Friend another notable name from Ditcheat.

Philip Hobbs has the largest numerical squad with 13, including impressive Racing Post Chase winner Quinz, who is set for a Grand National tilt on April 9, and Wishfull Thinking, another smart novice.

The Sandown event, worth £140,000, has also attracted 13 entries from Ireland, including last year's winner, Church Island.

Belfast Telegraph


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