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Wednesday Ludlow Preview – Tanners Champagne Handicap Chase

Analysis of the Tanners Champagne Handicap Chase

A competitive Class 2 feature race takes centre stage on Ludlow’s Wednesday’s seven-race card. Our tipsters have provided their thoughts on each individual runner as well as a tip for the race included. 

Runner-by-Runner Guide

Fidelio Valis 

Six-year-old FIDELIO VALLIS started the campaign in excellent form registering a four-timer over fences, including twice in Class 2 company at Kempton and Warwick. Returned from a 143 day-break to finish second in a Listed event at Chepstow back in October behind stylish winner Tea Clipper of Tom Lacey’s.

His latest start at Cheltenham can be easily forgiven as he has previously struggled to get competitive in the past when racing at Prestbury Park. Fidelio Vallis will have to shoulder top weight but the return to a more conventional track will definitely suit.


GUMBALL made the ideal start to life with Fergal O’Brien when landing a York Handicap on the flat back in October on stable debut. The seven-year-old grey returned back over the larger obstacles on his penultimate start and was in contention until weakening up the stiff Carlisle run-in and ultimately finished fourth.

The hold-up tactics employed last time out at Newbury certainly didn’t suit and Gumball could never mount any form of challenge under Liam Harrison. The handicapper has dropped him 4lb for that latest effort and it would not be a total surprise to see him outrun his odds on just his third start for these connections. 

Getaway Trump

Scooted away to land a Class 2 Doncaster Handicap back in March under jockey Lorcan Williams. However, GETAWAY TRUMP failed to back that run up when taking a crashing fall at Aintree in Grade 3 company in April. 

The eight-year-old has now failed to get competitive on his last three starts and remains a risky proposition despite being back down to his last winning mark of 140. 

Rockstar Ronnie

ROCKSTAR RONNIE looked a fortunate winner when last seen at Kempton as his main market rival that day appeared to have the race in safekeeping before coming to grief at the final fence. However, that was the six-year-olds second win from just three starts over fences and has clearly relished going over the larger obstacles.

The former winning Irish point-to-pointer should have more improvement to come in this sphere but he now faces Class 2 company for the first time over fences and may find one or two too good. 

Not Available

Matt Sheppard’s charge NOT AVAILABLE  has been a model of consistency and has yet to finish outside the place on any of his eleven career starts. The six-year-old regained the winning thread last time out at Newbury on just the third start for new connections after joining from Henry De Bromhead’s yard earlier this season. 

The six-year-old gamely fended off the challenge of some smart rivals on that occasion, including talented novice pair Mister Coffey and Solo. Not Available has been nudged up 3lb for that latest success and connections will expect him to close once again.


Registered two handicap chase wins at Stratford and Fontwell back in August 2020 when trained by Paul Nicholls. ASHUTOR has since joined trainer Sophie Leech and will have needed the return to action after 217 days when being pulled up Newbury at the end of November. 

The seven-year-old should strip fitter for that reappearance but he will struggle to be competitive in this grade and has plenty to prove at present. 

Desque De L’isle 

DESQUE DE L’ISLE has only raced three times this season and returned from a nine-month absence to comfortably land a 2mile handicap at Ffos Las after being well supported in the market. The eight-year-old went up 10lb for that effort as a result and although only fourth last time out at Sandown, he still shaped with promise in a warm contest under 10lb claimer Ned Fox.

Disque De L’isle receives plenty of weight from his six rivals on Wednesday and looks to hold leading claims now reunited with jockey Charlie Deutsch and Venetia Williams’ yard continues to be in tremendous form. 

Big Race Verdict 

In form pair Not Available and Rockstar Ronnie will both have to cope with a rise in class and that may prove difficult against some of these including the classy Fidelio Vallis who should go well despite carrying a welter burden of 12-3. However, it’s worth taking a punt on DESQUE DE L’ISLE who represents a bang in form stable and certainly appears to have more races in him off his current mark.