Astroboy looks out of this world

L’Astroboy can make a successful step up in distance as he brings Grade One form to the table Cazoo Novices’ Hurdle at Chepstow.

The six-year-old put up a sterling show in the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown when last seen, beaten two and a half lengths by Tahmuras, a horse he had actually beaten in his only bumper start.

Given that was only his second start over hurdles and third outing overall, it was a creditable run and while Tahmuras was well beaten in Tuesday's Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham, the form still looks pretty strong.

Nemean Lion and Colonel Harry, who finished third and fourth, have since fought out the finish in a Grade Two at Kelso while fifth-placed Authorised Speed has won a novice event.

L'Astroboy steps up nearly half a mile this weekend, but looking at the way he stayed on at Sandown the distance looks sure to suit.

Shomen Uchi only just lost out on his first attempt over obstacles and must rate a leading contender in the Cazoo Maiden Hurdle.

Winner of one his three bumpers, with his last start in that sphere yielding a sixth place in an Aintree Grade Two, Shomen Uchi was beaten a head at Hereford as he embarked on a hurdling career before Christmas.

He was a bit keen over just short of two and a half miles and it easy to see why Sam Thomas has opted to go just short of three miles now as he did keep on well.

Shomen Uchi has shown his best on testing conditions, so perhaps that is why he has not been seen since that run in December.

In Excelsis Deo disappointed when sent off favourite on his most recent outing, but can make amends in the Cazoo Search Drive Smile Novices' Limited Handicap Chase.

A winner in France before joining Harry Fry at the backend of last year, In Excelsis Deo looked a decent recruit when winning on debut for the yard, but his Warwick run last month saw him pulled up before two out when it was clear he would not be featuring in the finish.

While no excuses were offered in the immediate aftermath, In Excelsis Deo should not be written off in what appears a slightly less competitive heat.

Tommy's Oscar can defy top weight in the Rockcliffe Novices' Limited Handicap Chase at Carlisle.

The eight-year-old has not been in quite the same sparkling form as last term during the current campaign, but he secured a deserved Grade Two success at Doncaster last time out when turning over odds-on favourite Boothill.

He jumped for fun and shot five and a half lengths clear with the minimum of fuss to win with seemingly something still in hand.

The handicapper actually dropped him 1lb for that performance though, and while conditions may not be quite ideal Tommy's Oscar still appears the class act.

Ramses De Teillee is the pick in the Aglionby Veterans' Handicap Chase.

Winner of one these events at Warwick back in November, he subsequently finished second to Wishing And Hoping in the 2022 Final at Sandown before again having to settle for a place at Exeter, when a well-beaten third to Musical Slave.

He has been eased 1lb after that run, but his mark of 144 still looks workable on the basis of his penultimate effort, especially given the Carlisle ground may be more to his liking.


CARLISLE: 1.50 Tommy's Oscar, 2.25 Haveanothergoflo, 3.00 Blazing Port, 3.35 Ramses De Teillee, 4.10 Dubai Days, 4.45 Big Blue Moon, 5.20 Late Romantic.

CHEPSTOW: 1.30 L'ASTROBOY (NAP), 2.05 Skinflint, 2.40 Shomen Uchi, 3.15 Ucanaver, 3.50 In Excelsis Deo, 4.25 Bells Of Stamford, 5.00 Endless Supply.

DOUBLE: L'Astroboy and Shomen Uchi.

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