Hidden Heroics can strike for Dan Skelton at Ludlow

Dan Skelton trains Hidden Heroics
Dan Skelton trains Hidden Heroics Dan Skelton trains Hidden Heroics

HIDDEN Heroics appears well placed to maintain his unbeaten record over fences in the Forbra Gold Cup at Ludlow.

Trained by Dan Skelton, he was a useful hurdler last season without setting the world alight, but has already made up into an even better horse over the larger obstacles after just two starts.

Admittedly the form of both races is open to question, with three finishers coming home at long intervals on his chasing debut at Exeter in November, while only one rival chased him home at Cheltenham the following month.

However, Hidden Heroics could do no more than win by 23 and 45 lengths respectively and on both occasions he was particularly impressive in the jumping department, despite a tendency to edge right.

With that in mind, the return to a right-handed track should suit the six-year-old and it will be interesting to see how he fares from a revised mark of 137 in Shropshire.

La Renommee certainly has enough latent ability to break her chasing duck in the 1985 Cool, Crisp Lager Mares’ Novices’ Handicap Chase.

A winner over hurdles in France, the daughter of Doctor Dino has failed to add to her tally since joining Dr Richard Newland, but has been placed on several occasions.

She has found only one too good in her last two starts at Wetherby and Carlisle, beaten a length and a quarter and two and a quarter lengths respectively, and it could be argued she may have won both but for making a couple of significant jumping mistakes.

If she can iron out that side of her game, she is better than her rating of 112.

Matterhorn is given another chance to prove his worth in the Rowcliffes Novices’ Hurdle at Taunton.

Third in a Listed event at Auteuil a couple of years ago, the five-year-old was unsurprisingly prominent in the market on his British debut for Paul Nicholls at Sandown in the autumn, but floundered in the mud and was ultimately pulled up.

The fitting of a tongue-tie that day suggested his wind may not be entirely clear and he has indeed undergone surgery since.

He has been given plenty of time to recover from his Sandown exertions and with a sounder surface seen a positive, Matterhorn must be respected at a track his trainer rarely leaves without a winner.

Buxted Too looks set to continue his fantastic start to 2023 in the BetUK Over 40,000 Live Streamed Races Handicap at Newcastle.

The Ian Williams-trained five-year-old has rattled off four successive victories since the turn of the year, including two over this course and distance.

There was no sign of the handicapper catching up with him when bolting up by three and a half lengths on his latest visit and a 5lb penalty is unlikely to be enough to prevent him from going in again.

All-weather fare also comes from Chelmsford, where punters are advised to put their faith in Hello Zabeel in the CCR Handicap.

The gelded son of Frankel is two from two on artificial surfaces since leaving Kevin Ryan to join Charlie Fellowes and he can defy a 3lb rise for a recent win at Lingfield to make it a hat-trick.