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Horse Racing Tips: Rhys Williams is taking a two-pronged attack in the Exeter Intermediate Final

Rhys Williams has analysed Thursday’s racing and has two selections in the hunter chase at Exeter.

Cheekpieces sharpened him up last time

Exeter 19:10: Hadmeathello 1pt win 17/2

Knockmoylan is the odds-on favourite for the Exeter Intermediate Final and he’s three from three since joining Chris Barber. He’s won twice over 3m but I’m not sure he’s at his best over this trip and his jumping last time wasn’t convincing. If the race was over 2m4f I think he would be tough to beat but 3m on this stiff track may leave the door open for something to take advantage.

The overnight and early morning market took care of any of the value in Dr Rhythm’s price. He’s eventually starting to fulfil the early promise he showed and the return to 3m will suit him having lacked the pace of The Big Sting over 2m4f last time. One slight concern is his jumping as it wasn’t great on his only previous start in a hunter chase and he’s fallen twice in points since but it has been better this season.

Hadmeathello finished behind Knockmoylan last time at Trebudannon but he now faces him on much better terms as he carried a 5lb penalty and Chloe Emsley is able to claim 7lb in hunter chases which she can’t do in points.

He showed a good level of ability early in his career in Irish points and then in British points for Dale Peters before winning on his first start for Stuart Payne after a 401-day absence. He was a bit disappointing in two runs after that and he raced lazily on his first two starts of this season with his jumping falling to pieces at Cothelstone before eventually unseating rider.

However, Hadmeathello was much sharper last time when cheekpieces were applied for the first time and they are retained today. He also jumped much better than on his previous run and he did well to get so close to Knockmoylan conceding weight on a track that would have been sharper than ideal.

He did make mistakes on his only previous try in a hunter chase in the Cheltenham Intermediate Final last season so that is a slight concern but I think he may be helped in that area by going right handed as he did tend to edge to his right at Trebudannon last time. Chloe Emsley being able to claim 7lb in hunter chases is an advantage given her proven quality in the saddle and any 13/2 or bigger appeals.

Good run in defeat last time

Exeter 19:10: Jabbea 1pt win 22/1

Early in his career I thought Jabbea might be the ideal horse to go summer jumping with having run well in a bumper before being well beaten twice in heavy ground over hurdles but any thought of staying under rules was clearly shelved as he returned to the pointing field later that season.

He hasn’t quite fulfilled the early potential that he showed, with his jumping letting him down on various occasions, but he’s shown glimpses of that early talent in previous seasons and he’s shown this season that he still retains ability.

He ran well on his first start of the season at Chipley Park when not well positioned before unseating at the first next time at Buckfastleigh. On his latest start in an Intermediate at Kilworthy, he was held up early on before gradually making headway on the final circuit. He went to the front after 3 out and pulled a couple of lengths clear turning in but he looked to idle and couldn’t quite match Footloose on the run in after being joined by that rival soon after the last.

If Footloose was in this race I expect he would be a single-figure price and Jabbea’s price is likely due to his rating under rules over hurdles which underplays his ability.

There is a concern over his jumping but I think his price more than compensates for that and any 16/1 or bigger appeals.

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