Through The Card: Stratford, Thursday August 11
17:50 – BAGAD BIHOUE (2) should get a good tow into the race from the front-running Magna Cartor and he can make the most of the 7 lb he receives from main rival Bleu Et Noir. Bagad Bihoue was impressive when winning a 9-runner maiden on his hurdling debut by 15 lengths from Uber Alles, produced to lead approaching 2 out and quickening clear on quick ground. He is sure to progress and win more races. Bleu Et Noir represents a yard not firing on all cylinders at present, but he was in good form when last seen two months ago, his two wins including a victory here over a slightly shorter trip.
18:20 – LUCCOMBE DOWN (1) reeled off two smooth (and well-backed) wins after leaving Donald McCain and is expected to complete the hat-trick despite his penalty (due to race off a 5 lb higher mark in future). He clearly started life in handicaps on a fair perch and should still have more to offer. Hatters River has plenty more experience but hasn't been overly-raced for his age (nine) and is respected, having seemed to relish the return to hurdles when fourth over C&D last time out. Sheer Poetry is no obviously well-treated but should appreciate the return to a longer trip today and is respected accordingly, though he needs to be on better behaviour at the start.
18:50 – Show's Over is respected in a first-time visor from his career-low mark, however DAULYS ANTHEM (5) looks another favourite to side with and he's worth a bet. He was better than the result when 23 lengths third of 15 to Shady Glen in a big-field handicap at the track last time, ridden too aggressively. That was the former Point winner's debut over fences under Rules and he rates a confident selection to make amends here. Top-weight Mac Bertie is respected, dropped to the mark he went close from at Ffos Las in June, while Whos De Baby is winless in nine starts but matched his best form last time out when second behind a handicap blot here last time. For those willing to take a chance, blinkers could spark Age of Discovery into life; his Wincanton form from last year makes a mark of 94 look workable.
19:20 – Rain would aid Exemplary's cause, however PRINCESS ROANIA (2) has the perfect Placepot form figures and there's no reason to think she won't feature in the first three. Though perhaps not the most resolute, she stays well on the Flat (winner over two miles) and this longer trip could see her break her maiden tag over hurdles. If she doesn't stay, then SHANTOU TIGER (1) looks an excellent backup. He has been dropped 5 lb for his last run at Hexham and is now on a career-low mark. He has won over three miles at Uttoxter so should relish this trip and a big run is expected.
19:50 – Assuming new partner Rhys Flint gives FINE RESOLVE (4) an attacking ride, the pairing could be hard to peg back. The horse, who stays further than this trip, is well treated on hurdles form and could be worth chancing having joined an in-form yard. Assuming he is on better terms with himself than when refusing at the last here in July, Sword of the Lord looks the biggest danger, ahead of Newton Abbot winner Maizy Missile.
20:20 – SAILORS WARN (4) was a good neck second of 9 to In On The Act in handicap at Worcester last time and a repeat of that performance may be enough to win here. Daniel Loughnane has only had the horse for one start but it was an encouraging bounce back to form and Sailors Warn, despite a 3 lb rise in the weights, looks well-treated on his old Irish mark. The combination of a visor and a drop back in trip should see an improved effort from Star Foot, who makes more appeal than the returning Makethedifference. C&D winner No Win No Fee is respected, however a mark of 120 for his two early-season wins looks tough enough.
Back Daulys Anthem in the 18:50
17:50 – 2
18:20 – 1
18:50 – 5
19:20 – 1, 2
19:50 – 4
20:20 – 4