In the Dave Criddle Travel & Bristol Airport Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (2.10) at Taunton on Thursday, Butlergrove King has improved for switch to regulation fences and can make it three wins from four starts in that sphere. The King’s Theatre gelding has been off the course for seven weeks since beating Buck Magic by 5 lengths over 3 miles at Ludlow, but is clearly on an upward curve and can defy a 6lb rise in the weights for that success. He remains open to significant improvement and his earlier point-to-point form augurs well for his future.
In the Dave Criddle Travel & Kuoni Handicap Hurdle (1.40), Back By Midnight failed to defy a 12lb rise in the weights when third of 17, beaten 9¼ lengths, behind Proofreader over course and distance a fortnight ago, but deserves another chance in what appears to be an easier contest. The winner has since run creditably in defeat, off a 7lb higher mark, so the form looks solid enough against exposed opposition.
Selections: Taunton 2.10 Butlergrove King, Taunton 1.40 Back By Midnight (win double)