This is a Class 3 handicap hurdle that is run over two miles and if the eight runners all stand their ground then it looks like a good betting race with a bit of value to be found.
Space Oddity for Harry fry is the favourite after winning a novice hurdle race at Taunton last time out. He is just five years old so there is obviously scope for improvement and he handicap mark of 114 doesn't seem too drastic. He was made to work hard for that victory however and that was over two miles and three furlongs so it is a bit of a step back down in trip here today. The second horse in that race has been comfortably beaten since which gives the form a less than convincing look, therefore at the prices it appears there is better value elsewhere.
Steel City has been running fairly consistently without getting his head in front and he was comfortably beaten by Canadian Diamond at Sandown in February in similar conditions to today. He is five pounds better off today but Micky Hamill who rides Canadian Diamond was only claiming three pounds that day and reverts to his normal seven now they are in a handicap, therefore is it hard to see the placings being reversed.
Canadian Diamond looks the pick of these to me. He stayed on nicely to win that race at Sandown well in testing conditions so we know he will be fine in the bog that awaits them today. The extra furlong here should really suit him and he definitely looks the pick at the weights. I expect Hamill to keep him at the rear of the field until things get towards the last half a mile or so and then steadily bring him through where he will hopefully have too much for his rivals.
England v New Zealand
The first semi-final of the twenty twenty world cup takes place this afternoon and it should be an excellent match between two big hitting teams. England have already shown their immense firepower when chasing down a score of 230 against South Africa and New Zealand have a whole host of big hitters all the way down the order. It will come down to which bowling attack copes with the pressure the best and I think it will come down to who can make the early breakthroughs to stifle the runs.
Jos Buttler has looked in fine form so far in this tournament and this is exactly the kind of game he thrives on. Therefore, at 10/1 best price, I am backing him to be the top batsman in this match and am hopeful of a good run for our money.
Exeter 14:30 - Canadian Diamond - 1 point @ 13/2 (William Hill)
Jos Buttler top batsman - 1 point @ 10/1 (Skybet, 888Sport)