RACING at Bangor-on-Dee begins at 2.15 this afternoon when the European Breed-ers Fund 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle race goes under starters orders.
Among the entries is Rebel Rhythm who was a very easy winner at Haydock Park before Christmas over two and a half miles and is on course to carry top weight here. Smart Mover was second in a similar contest at Hereford last month on his hurdles debut and should improve for that experience.
Preference goes to Vic The Piler who justified a price of 15-8 favourite when winning on his debut at Newcastle last month.
The feature hurdle race on the card with £12,000 in added prize money is the Middleton & Co. Solicitors Novices' Hurdle over three miles. Jackson was second behind the useful Brewster in a Grade 2 event at Cheltenham, in December, over this trip and this will be an easier task today.
Rotherham may be value for a place as the five-year-old made a good start to his hurdling career when second at Fontwell seven weeks ago.
Stamina will be a prerequisite in the marathon three-miles, six furlong Handicap Chase, a distance further than many of the entries have raced over before making the race more difficult to assess. Heidi III put up a winning performance at Wetherby three weeks ago after a long absence and could go close again today.
Top weight Coursing Run is selected to improve on his second place last time out when running over three miles at Chep-stow on heavy ground.
Polar Gunner is in winning form and made all to score by 16 lengths at Sedge-field in January. The gelding should be capable of repeating that performance in the Dennis Rogers 40th Birthday Novices' Handicap Chase run over an extended two miles and one furlong. Yvanovitch looks the danger, but is set to give Polar Gunner almost a stone in weight.
Several local horses feature in the entries for the Gilbert Cotton Memorial Hunters' Chase, including Cassia Green, a recent winner between the flags.
Royal Predica and Scotmail Lad were both decent performers under rules and preference goes to the latter to improve on his second place last time out.
Racing comes to a close at 5pm with the Book Early For The Paddock Restaurant Handicap Hurdle. Errol notched up his first winner over timber at Doncaster two weeks ago when waiting tactics were adopted. The additional 7lbs claimed by the gelding's jockey may assist in a follow up win here.
Amberleigh House continued his preparation for the John Smith's Grand National when putting in a first-class display of fencing at Wetherby last Saturday over a trip that is now too short for the 13-year-old.
Trainer Ginger McCain admitted he had left a little to work on over the coming weeks. With the unique spectacle now only eight weeks away a clearer picture of the ante-post market will emerge following the publication of the weights.