This is a novices' chase over two miles in what will be pretty sticky conditions with there being parts of the course riding on the heavy side of things.
On Tour for Evan Williams is aiming for a hat trick of wins after winning at Exeter and Carlisle. He beat the impressive looking Otago Trail at Exeter who has gone on to win twice since and shoot up the ratings, racing from a mark of 154 in a Class 1 novices' chase at Haydock on Saturday. On Tour did make hard work of his carlisle win when an odds on favourite in heavy conditions, however he showed good spirit in getting his head in front and a bold showing today is expected.
Deep Trouble is the highest rated of today's field and races off eleven stone as he is yet to record a chase victory. He has been racing is much better class of races than today's, however he has been very well beaten on each of those starts so it is hard to quantify how good a horse he actually is. He shouldn't be as badly outpaced by today's rivals but I am still not sure he is necessarily good enough to take this even getting weight from three of his four rivals.
Gentleman Jon, trained by Colin Tizzard, won a novices' chase at Wincanton in October in this class but that was on much firmer ground and he has struggled since. He has been racing over much further than today's trip so it will be interesting to see if he can go the pace these, if he can he could be well placed for the final few furlongs. The ground is a definite worry though and others are preferred.
Ballyadeen won very easily last time out at Market Rasen and he has been raised by 15 pounds as a consequence. That race was also over five furlongs further than today so it is an interesting decision to run him over two miles as he has no form over this distance.
Doctor Harper has finished second on both of his chase starts so far. His first was behind the top prospect L'Ami Serge, who is second favourite for the Arkle, and then last time out he did well to get to within five lengths of Garde Le Victoire. He receives ten pounds in weight from three of his rivals today and I think he will be too good for them. He was a good hurdler who recorded four wins at around this distance and has form in these conditions so I think it will be really difficult to peg him back.
Leicester 14:30 - Doctor Harper - 2 points @ 9/4 (Coral)