Timeform take you through the card at Taunton on Sunday…
“…improved on his previous chase form and shaped well when second at Chepstow last time…”
Timeform on Pop Rockstar
12:45 – MANTOVANI (5) wasn’t far behind a next-time-out winner when third starting out over hurdles at Exeter last month and should prove a tough nut to crack, with Flat-recruits Zanzi Win, Tiffin Top and Zafar fancied to emerge as the chief threats.
13:15 – BIRDS OF PREY (4) was a useful performer on the Flat and shaped as though in need of a stiffer test when runner-up over 16.5f on his hurdles debut here 17 days ago. He gets that today and looks sure to take all the beating, with Zanza feared most if putting his Sandown disappointment behind him.
13:50 – POP ROCKSTAR (1) improved on his previous chase form and shaped well when second at Chepstow last time, pulling clear of the remainder and simply unlucky to bump into one well ahead of his mark. That rival gave the form a boost when following up at Market Rasen on Boxing Day, and Pop Rockstar would appear to hold obvious claims of going one better himself this afternoon; he is 3 lb clear of the field on weight-adjusted ratings, with the very capable Jonjo O’Neill Jr. taking an extra 5 lb off his back.
14:20 – GWALIA (3) produced a career best to make a successful handicap debut over C&D earlier this month, cleverly ridden from the front but ultimately well on top at the finish. Evan Williams’ charge has a 9 lb hike in the weights to contend with here, but he should have more to offer after just three starts over hurdles, and with most of his rivals here having something to prove at present, there is no obvious reason to oppose him in his follow-up bid.
14:55 – POSH TRISH (1) is unlikely to be inconvenienced by the quick turnaround, given that she barely came off the bridle when winning at Wincanton on Boxing Day, and this looks another good opportunity for her with further improvement on the cards. Paul Webber’s Indefatigable created a good impression at Uttoxeter and may prove next best ahead of Passing Call, who is held by the selection on earlier Newbury form.
15:25 – GLANCE BACK (5) looks the safest option in a trappy handicap after his improved showing when winning at Bangor two weeks ago. Broughtons Rhythm could be the danger ahead of Railroad Junkie.
15:55 – JIMMY RABBITTE (13) shaped with promise on his handicap bow at Fairyhouse in November and, back in maiden company six days later, he proved better than ever to get off the mark at Thurles last time, edging ahead at the finish to beat a subsequent winner by a head. He has joined the Dr Richard Newland yard since, one that has a terrific record with its similar recruits, and a BHA mark of 103 is unlikely to prove beyond him if the progress he made for previous connections is anything to go by, with Charlie Hammond taking 3 lb off his back, too.
Minimum Bet Guarantee
Betfair’s ‘minimum bet guarantee’ on all Class 1 and 2 races in the UK and Ireland – which means all customers are able to bet to win a minimum of £500 – has been extended to cover all races at selected meetings this week. T&Cs apply.