Exploiteur can make the handicapper look foolish today



Another winner for Alan yesterday at Newcastle, today he has two more to follow at Hexham and Ffos Las…

Exploiter can find his way to the winners enclosure for the first time

Back Exploiteur @ 7/2 in the 14:50 Ffos Las

Graeme McPherson runs his six-year-old, Exploiteur in this Class 3 handicap and it looks like he has found a great opportunity to get his charge in the winners enclosure. After a break of 318 days the gelding ran his first race in handicap company which saw an improved performance from his novice races. He finished runner-up at Bangor in similar ground to that which he faces today so he should have no problems with these conditions.

The winner that day has followed up in Class 2 company from 8lb higher so the 2lb rise should be well within his capabilities. Exploiteur only has a few miles on the clock and will have needed that run at Bangor, this swifter return to the track won’t disadvantage him and I expect him to be fit and ready to run a big race.

There are two runners who are pushing him for favouritism in this race and they are are Out The Glen for Debra Hamer, although finishing second last time he was beaten 21 lengths. He runs here off the same mark and Ben Jones is taking 3lbs off his back but I don’t fancy him today. A stronger contender may come in the shape of Sermando for Jonjo O’Neill. He should have more to offer this season and looks interesting upped to this trip on return but the 288 days off the track has to be a concern.

Cold Shoulder is back of a winnable mark

Back Cold Shoulder @ 5/1 in the 15:40 Hexham

In the final race of the day at Hexham, I quite fancy the chances of Cold Shoulder, Tim Vaughan‘s runner was winning off 9lbs higher than this when he was with Gordon Elliot and he shaped well from 2lbs higher on his return to action at Chepstow at the end of October. This trip on deep ground is ideal for him and he is the sole runner on the card for his yard. His two wins to date have both come off higher marks than this and I think he is worth chancing at around 5/1 in a very winnable race.

Dequall for Stuart Coltherd looks like the likely worthy favourite, there was plenty to like about his recent course and distance win here, coming off a long layoff to win by an easy two lengths. He won’t have any problems with the conditions but he is up 7lbs for that success and that means he will have to produce another personal best. He may well be up to that task but I prefer to take my chance with Cold Shoulder today.