HUGHIE MORRISON'S knack of getting his horses 100 per cent fit on the home gallops should stand Starzaan (2.00) in good stead at Market Rasen today.

Morrison's charge has not been seen out for 204 days so the trainer's reputation for giving his horses plenty of preparatory graft is a vital factor in assessing Starzaan's prospects for the feature event on the card, the £14,000 Pertemps Showcase Handicap Hurdle.

Starzaan's form is solid enough, having recorded a career-best effort when fourth in Grade 2 Novices' Hurdle at the Aintree Festival April.

That was a very warm race and the clincher as far as the decision to support the four-year-old comes courtesy of the booking of champion jockey Tony McCoy to partner the selection.

In the preceding Air Products Handicap Chase, Fin Bec (1.30) is sure to be a popular choice after his bloodless win at Leicester.

Andrew Thornton's mount won by a staggering 28 lengths at the Midlands venue, clocking a very fast time. He seems to relish flat, right-handed tracks and while in such superb fettle it would seem folly to oppose him.

The prize money on offer at Hereford isn't nearly as good, although that is not of concern to punters who seek only to get the best value odds on offer.

In the current climate it is essential to have access to the betting exchanges, a medium in which Lord Of The Hill (1.50) is well worth a look for the two-mile Novices' Handicap Chase.

After collecting a couple of low-grade chases, Lord Of The Hill was then upped in class last time out when given a spin around Cheltenham. Heather Dalton's gelding certainly didn't disgrace himself at the headquarters of jump racing by finishing fifth and is bound to find this afternoon's much easier company more to his liking.

Ferdy Murphy launches a long-distance raid from his Yorkshire Dales base and could easily be rewarded with Ulusaba (2.30) in the Tote Exacta Handicap Chase. Once again it is a pathetic turn out, making Ulusaba's task that much easier, especially as he has improved on each of his three outings this term.

Minster Glory is bound to go off a hot favourite in the last at Wincanton, but I'm going to take him on with previous track and trip scorer Angels Venture (3.40).

Minster Glory, who completed an admirable four-timer at Leicester on Monday, carries a 7lb penalty for that success.

However, it is the sharp nature of the course which is of far more concern, since Minster Glory ideally requires a much stiffer test of stamina.

* Midlem Melody was a a welcome 7-2 winning nap selection for Janus (Colin Woods) at Hexham yesterday

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