Taunton Preview: Brinestine can get back on track
Brinestine will be well suited by the drying ground conditions at Taunton, and looks to have leading claims or landing a second course and distance win in the handicap hurdle at 4.50.
The gelding was a useful sort on the level when trained in Ireland, winning his last two starts at Navan and the Curragh before joining Paul Nicholls.
He got off the mark on his fourth attempt over hurdles when bolting up by six lengths on his handicap debut over course and distance off a mark of 114, and looked sure to win more races judge by the manner of that success.
Since then, Brinestine has failed to trouble the judge in three subsequent starts, but there have been valid excuses for his defeat in the first two of those.
The five-year-old ran better than his finishing position suggested at Ascot when refusing to settle, and raced too keenly before finishing a 3 1/4 lengths fifth of nine to Dunraven Storm in a class 2 contest.
Brinestine then found heavy going all against him when fifth at Wincanton, before running well last time out and finishing in the same place in a “jumpers’ bumper” at Kempton.
A return to quicker ground this afternoon is definitely in his favour, and he should be more than capable of making an impact in this grade from his current handicap mark, as he remains relatively unexposed and open to further improvement.
In the 4.20, Tony Carroll’s Waving looks worth siding with on his handicap debut.
The gelding has shown just modest form in three runs over hurdles, but has been cracking on the flat recently, and could be on a lenient mark if translating that improvement to this sphere.
Richard Johnson is on board the five-year-old here. That certainly catches the eye, and he looks decent value to beat the favoruite Polstar, who flopped last time out when heavily backed.
In the handicap hurdle that opens the card (2.20), Warren Greatrex’s Hand On Bach looks weighted to play a leading role on the pick of his form.
He started life off in handicaps on a mark of 117 following a decent seventh of 12 to ChatterBox in a hot looking contest at Newbury, and is now running of just 94.
The six-year-old didn’t shape too badly last time out at Southwell after a 97 day break, travelling strongly and leading at the third last until weakening to finish a 15 length fifth of 15 to Speckled Door.
Hand On Bach now gets the tongue-tie fitted for the first time, and if that has the desired effect he has shown enough ability to win a race of this nature.
The drying ground and step up in trip should be in his favour, and he looks decent each-way value in a wide open contest.
2.20: Hand On Bach
2.50: Sea Wall
3.20: Solar Sky
3.50: Tresor De La Vie
4.20: Waving (NB)
4.50: Brinestine (NAP)
5.55: One For The Guv’nr