Spring is in the air

Steve Hughes has two selections for the only jumps fixture on Monday at Taunton

Warmer weather has come in time to save today’s jumps meeting at Taunton and I have picks for two handicaps on the card.

Taunton 2.45: Carrigmoorna Matt

Not the strongest of races for a 0-120 and this affords Carrigmoorna Matt an excellent opportunity to get off the mark for his new handler Neil Mulholland.

A soft ground maiden hurdle winner at Killarney for his previous yard, the selection somewhat lost his way last season when tried chasing. There is no doubting his stamina for 3m though as he was placed over the trip twice over hurdles and also in a point.

It has taken time for him to acclimatise to his new surroundings, but has been improving with every race. His last two outings have been very solid – fourth at Warwick on soft ground and then a strong finishing second at Chepstow behind the very well handicapped Cloudy Glen. A tongue-strap that day seemed to serve him well and is retained today.

Taunton 3.15: Spring Wolf

There are very few 11yo horses in training with as few miles on the clock as Spring Wolf and the gelding can therefore very much be considered as unexposed.

His bumper form as a youngster was excellent, including a third place to subsequent Cheltenham Festival winner Missed Approach. However he then had just the two races in four years before reappearing for a new trainer in Robert Walford at Exeter in December.

He had no chance that day against a strong field including Defi Du Seuil, but a 38l defeat was no disgrace. He was given an opening handicap mark of just 105 when returning to that track on New Years Day and that rating proved overly generous as he came home strongly to win by 4l. I suspect the overnight rain will be in his favour and against likely favourite Cracking Destiny who looks a tricky ride and his best form has been on a sounder surface.

Recommended bets:

1pt win – Carrigmoorna Matt – 2.45 Taunton – 100/30 Bet365

1pt win – Spring Wolf – 3.15 Taunton – 4/1 William Hill

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