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Taunton preview: The Bugler ready to call the tune

| 13.01.2016

David Metcalf | January 13, 2016

The Bugler has caught the eye on more than one occasion and looks decent value to open his account under rules in the 2m handicap hurdle at Taunton today (16.10).

Although yet to get his head in front in 18 starts, the gelding did post some solid efforts over hurdles in 2013 when trained in Ireland.

They included a fifth of 18 to the now 148-rated Quick Jack on soft ground at Listowel off a rating of 97, and a good third of 13 to Danequest at Limerick off 96.

Those runs represent strong form in the context of this weak looking class 5 contest and suggest that The Bugler is well-treated off a mark off 95.

The Bugler also now switches back to hurdles having failed to take to fences last time out at Ludlow, and prior to that had shaped better than the bare result suggests in three spins over hurdles since joining trainer Evan Williams.

Horse Racing - Ludlow Racecourse

The nine-year-old particularly caught the eye on his penultimate outing at Southwell when a tenderly handled fifth of 12 to Nebula Storm, and although not straightforward clearly has the ability to win a race of this nature.

With underfoot conditions holding no fears, and Adam Wedge in the saddle, everything looks in place for a huge run.

Mud-loving Top Wood fancied for handicap chase

In the 2m 7f handicap chase (14.40), Top Wood looks the answer following a cracking second on seasonal reappearance.

The David Pipe trained gelding revels in the mud and only got collared close home when beaten 1 1/2 lengths by Tour Des Champs at Chepstow last month.

Top Wood travelled sweetly throughout and looked to have the race in the bag when three lengths clear at the last only for lack of race fitness to take it’s toll on the run-in.

That run should have blown away the cobwebs and put the nine-year-old spot on for this, and although now 3lb higher in the weights Top Wood remains well-treated on the pick of his form off a revised rating of 135.


13.10: Highway Storm
13.40: Rolling Dylan
14.10: Grand Introduction
14.40: Top Wood (NB)
15.10: Winning Spark
15.40: Pearlysteps
16.10: The Bugler (NAP)


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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.