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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Marju’s Quest Still in the Hunt

In the Bathwick Tyres Handicap Hurdle (3.50) at Taunton on Thursday, Marju’s Quest may have pulled too hard for his own good when joint favourite, but only fifth of ten, beaten 13 lengths, behind Prouts Pub at Fontwell twelve days ago and can make amends. David Dennis’ 5-year-old appears to benefit from strong handling, as he did when making all under Noel Fehily to win by 5 lengths, over 2 miles 1 furlong, on his last visit to the Somerset track.

The Marju gelding is 7lb higher in the weights this time, but deserves another chance to show his true colours over this sort of distance at this level. He’s won on good to firm, and even firm, going on the Flat, so should have no problem with underfoot conditions and Noel Fehily is 4-17 (24%) on hurdlers for the Hanley Swan yard, so he has plenty going for him.

Hallings Comet usually goes off like the proverbial scalded cat, so competition for the lead is almost guaranteed, but Marju’s Quest doesn’t need to make the running and may, indeed, benefit from being ridden with a little more restraint. Making excuses for beaten horses is often the direct route to the poorhouse, but he seems fair value at around the 6/1 mark in the early price lists.

Selection: Taunton 3.50 Marju’s Quest to win

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