Ferguson hopes Printmaker can draw on luck of the Irish as season begins
A 17-runner Bhest Racing Novices' Hurdle kicks off Exeter's new season today, and some interesting new recruits to jump racing are set to come under orders.
Printmaker looks an interesting prospect on the back of some decent form in Ireland. The John Ferguson-trained four-year-old was last seen in action a year ago, when he was a four-lengths fourth in a three-year-old handicap. He has got winning form on soft, and Denis O'Regan is on board.
The decently bred Tamira makes her debut for Philip Hobbs, with stable jockey Richard Johnson opting to ride her rather than stable-mate Bincombe, and All Systems Go is a new edition to Jonjo O'Neill's yard, running in the colours of JP McManus.
Jewellery won her last two starts a month ago and she lines up in the Ilfracombe Food Service Novices' Handicap Hurdle with 7lb claimer Harry Derham on board.
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She has gone up a hefty 13lb since her last win at Newton Abbot, but she is as game a mare you could find. If the weight does not collar her, it could be three out of three since joining Victor Dartnall, who won the race last year with Fresher Fishing.
Of interest is Magical Island, who is having his first run since July 2010. Sarah Kerswell has scored two out of three since taking up training and she could have found a decent opportunity for the nine-year-old to make a winning return.
Four go in the Thanks To The Games Makers Handicap Chase, and the Emma Lavelle-trained Tim The Chair is likely to start favourite on the back of his success in a three miles two furlongs handicap chase at Uttoxeter in May.
He has been raised six pounds by the handicapper for that effort and, if that stops him, the Jonjo O'Neill-trained It's Like That is a consistent type.
The Venetia Williams-trained Bennys Mist is sure to start favourite in the Mary King Beginners' Chase on the back of two hurdles wins in May. Red Mile has been off the track since March 2011, but he ran some decent races over hurdles in defeat and is sure to have been well-schooled for his chasing debut.
Southway Star carries a 7lb penalty for her success at Newton Abbot ten days ago in the two miles three furlongs Congratulations Handicap Hurdle, and is sure to be fine tuned for this by her trainer Sue Gardner, but Pericoloso looks the one to beat.
He was well beaten in a 20-runner handicap hurdle over three miles in May, with some decent horses finishing behind him, but today's ground will suit.
The concluding South West Athletes Celebration Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurlde could see the Colin Tizzard-trained Ivor's King go one better than his second at Newton Abbot earlier this month, where he was beaten a neck by Kayfrou.
Tomorrow's fixture at Newton Abbot has been abandoned due to a waterlogged track. Course officials called off the jumps meeting following a 1pm inspection. The Devon circuit has had 93 millimetres of rain since last Tuesday, with more showers forecast.