Be on Garde at Exeter

Garde La Victoire can land Tuesday's feature, the Haldon Gold Cup, says Chris Wilson, who has a tip for every UK race.

Garde La Victoire: Haldon Gold Cup chance

EXETER: 1.20 Rouge Devils, 1.50 Double Treasure, 2.20 GARDE LA VICTOIRE (NAP), 2.50 Southfield Vic, 3.20 Dreamsoftheatre, 3.50 Monkhouse, 4.20 Baraza.

KEMPTON: 4.40 Ride The Lightning, 5.10 Evening Hill, 5.40 Masquerade Bling, 6.10 Bloodsweatandtears, 6.40 Candesta, 7.10 Mazzini, 7.40 Consulting, 8.10 Endive.

REDCAR: 12.40 Original Choice, 1.10 Iron Islands, 1.40 Nonno Giulio, 2.10 Silhuette, 2.40 Imshivalla, 3.10 Hard To Handel, 3.40 Jan De Heem, 4.10 Someone Exciting.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 1.30 Rapid Ranger, 2.00 Western Presence, 2.30 Golden Eye, 3.00 Dark Confidant, 3.30 Top Boy, 4.00 Stanley, 4.30 Maverik, 5.00 Oregon Gift.

DOUBLE: Garde La Victoire and Imshivalla

Garde La Victoire can add his name to an illustrious roll of honour in the 188Bet Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter.

The Grade Two handicap chase has been claimed by some seriously sharp-shooters in recent times, with the likes of Best Mate, Azertyuiop and Cue Card on the scoresheet.

Now might be the moment for Garde La Victoire to make a genuine statement of intent for the Philip Hobbs operation.

The second-season chaser is a lovely horse, but his impressive CV was tarnished last spring when he fell at the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals.

That is obviously not great, but it must be remembered that he was well in contention in the JLT Novices' Chase at Cheltenham when he came to grief four fences from home.

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He was probably still in with a shout at Aintree, too, before his story ended with a low and awkward leap during the Manifesto Novices' Chase.

Garde La Victoire was given time off to recuperate but looked the essence of vitality upon his return to the fray at Ffos Las, when, one mistake aside, he coolly claimed gold in the Welsh Champion Hurdle.

That will have done him the power of good, perhaps more from a fitness perspective than anything else, and it was good to see the Haldon Gold Cup quickly mentioned as a next port of call.

With conditions likely to be perfect for him, Garde La Victoire, who has reportedly been schooling like a dream at home, should also be ideally suited by a stiff track like Exeter.

Elsewhere, Imshivalla can make a belated return to the winner's enclosure if she runs to somewhere near her best form at Redcar.

The likeable mare from Richard Fahey's yard has been a bit hit and miss since she won a nice prize at Epsom in June.

But she showed a little more vim at Ayr last time and must be recognised as more than a bit-part player for the Muriel Noddings Birthday Celebration Handicap over a mile and a quarter.

Despite having disappointed in a Listed race at the Western Meeting in Scotland, Imshivalla responded purposefully just two days later to finish a close third in a class two handicap.

That was a really bold effort from the front and one that must give Fahey plenty of optimism with this race in mind.

The five-year-old daughter of Acclamation is 2lb higher in the weights than when she won son handsomely at Epsom, but that is hardly an insurmountable burden.

With a bit of dig in the ground practically a given for this time of year, even in spite of the unseasonably dry spell, hopes are high that Imshivalla can sign off from the turf season with a bit of a flourish.

Mazzini is respected in the Handicap at Kempton.

A good third at Ascot in September, having previously endured horrid luck at Yarmouth, James Fanshawe's three-year-old is now back on the all-weather trail.

The manner in which he won a fair race at Newcastle in August is an important snippet of form when it comes to assessing this six-furlong test.

Solid all-weather yardstick Top Boy, a sound runner-up at Chelmsford, should not be overlooked in the Betway Sprint Handicap at Wolverhampton.

Posted at 1325 GMT on 31/10/16.

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