Exeter has a nice looking card today and the highlight is this Class 2 three mile handicap chase which has eight runners all with the ability to make the frame.
Bertie Boru is one of two Philip Hobbs runners and was quite well fancied in a good race at Sandown last time out. He put in a really bad round of jumping however and eventually unseated Richard Johnson who takes the other of the Hobbs runners today. That in itself is enough to put me off and he will have to improve his jumping markedly to figure in this. If he somehow did manage to do that then he has slipped to a workable mark and would have a chance.
Godsmejudge for David Dennis has tumbled down the weights from around this time last year and if could find some of his old sparkle he would have definite each way claims. He has only been placed once in his last eight starts though so it is impossible to have any faith in him without knowing how he has been working at home. Any market confidence could prove significant.
Drop Out Joe is the top rated of this field and he won a Listed chase on his penultimate start. He was raised eight pounds for that win and couldn't live with a high quality field next time out at Doncaster in a race won by one of the Grand National favourites, The Last Samuri. He has come back down three pounds since that run and has a good chance here today.
Howlongisafoot is one of two Paul Nicholls runners and is another who has not been in the best of form recently. The drying ground is a big plus as the last time he ran on good ground it saw him win a nice race at Taunton. If the switch back to the firmer surface reinvigorates him and he could be a live danger.
Threefaceswest is the other Philip Hobbs runners and as mentioned above, the choice of Richard Johnson. He was comfortably beaten into second place at Exeter last month but was a long way clear of the rest and will be sure to like the sounder surface. That was also his first try over three miles and he saw the distance out nicely. With Johnson back in the saddle today I think he will take all the beating and fully expect him to jump the others into submission before running away with it after the final flight.
Exeter 16:10 - Threefaceswest - 2 points @ 2/1 (Most firms)