At Ludlow, the race which intrigues me is the Marsh Commercial Novices’ Handicap Chase, in which I want to be against Staple Head and Ship of The Fen.
That pair have the best form on offer, but are treading water on recent evidence, and clear preference is for the unexposed WHITECHURCH, who made the frame on all three starts in points, winning the final one, and left his poor hurdles for behind when fourth over 3m3f on his chase debut at Sedgefield recently.
He very much caught my eye there behind a pair of well-treated rivals, moving up from the rear to challenge for second around the home turn, and weakening only between the last two fences over that marathon trip.
My reading of that run is that Whitechurch jumped very well on the whole despite being crossed at his fences by the favourite who eventually crashed out after an erratic round of jumping.
He settled well, showed a willing attitude when asked to make a big move in the back straight, and simply failed to stay an extreme trip. He drops back to a sharp 2m7½f here, and that should enable him to progress enough to beat some exposed rivals.