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Zoffee has the credentials to serve up an Exeter treat.

Byline: Race analysis by Keith Melrose REPORTING BY DAVID MILNES

LAST year this race was won by Ga Law, who went on to land the Rising Stars at Wincanton next time and be placed in the Henry VIII and Pendil novice chases.

It seems unlikely there is anything as exciting in this field, with the two horses rated higher than 125 both being summer types.

Shentri has already been scratched and Golden Taipan ran at Ludlow yesterday, which weakens the field further. It might be that some of the races Neville's Cross competed in during the summer were stronger.

He made an inauspicious start over fences, falling at Market Rasen and Worcester, which both count as relatively easy jumping tests. So does Exeter, in truth, and Neville's Cross has been sharper since. He won at Uttoxeter in July and failed to stay 3m2f there last time.

The ease of the fences ought to help Zoffee too. His sole chase win came here and his second last month to Vision Des Flos (since followed up at Warwick) reads well, especially since he has dropped another 3lb.

Zoffee is one of several Flatbreds in the race, a group that also includes You Say Nothing (stable debut after one chase start for Gavin Cromwell) and Paricolor.

Others, such as Carolines Charm and Troed Y Melin, are kept away from deep ground, with the latter having won on good to firm here when last seen in April. He is up against better horses.

What they say Tom Lacey, trainer of Neville's Cross He's back from a break but should enjoy dropping back in trip. He also acts on fast ground, so there's plenty to like.

Neil Mulholland, trainer of Carolines Charm He made a mistake at Worcester last time, which knocked his confidence a little, but if he went back to his previous form he could well be in business. He'll enjoy the ground.

Christian Williams, trainer of You Say Nothing We got him from Ireland but he's been a bit of a runaway to be honest, so we may have to lead him down to the start this time. If he settles he'd have a chance.

Colin Tizzard, trainer of Sizing At Midnight He ran all right last time and must have some sort of eachway chance. Fast ground is important to him, so he should run well and he's been in good form at home of late.


Zoffee (right): runs off 3lb lower today than his last start

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Author:Race analysis by Keith Melrose REPORTING BY DAVID MILNES
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 7, 2021
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