13:10 Market Rasen
A tricky six runner handicap over 2m7f starts the day for us, but there is one horse in here that caught the eye last time out.
The Sue Smith yard has gone from strength to strength in recent weeks and they have yet another good chance of adding to their tally. The 8-year-old gelding was a dual point to point winner who landed a decent novice hurdle back in March, but he stepped up on that form to show his potential over fences when shaping as though he would benefit from the run. He should now go very close in this one under the excellent guidance of Sean Quinlan and he gets the nod in a difficult contest.
The main danger will no doubt come from the juggernaut Jonjo O’Neill and JP McManus combination who line up with Oficial Ben. He tackles fences for the first time here and he could be open to any amount of progression with the application of the first time head gear.
Another horse of note is the obvious claims of the market leader Cyclop. David Dennis’ runner posted a solid third at Bangor last time out over fences that is the best form in the book, but the aforementioned duo may just be open to more improvement.
Red Danaher (E/W)
An amateur rider’s handicap chase is not always the most popular when it comes to picking up winners, but today could prove the exception.
Evan Williams stable is right bang in form at the minute and it seems the Welsh outfit can do no wrong. The seven-year-old Capilla comes straight here off the back of an impressive style when bolting up at Lingfield on Tuesday despite an error at the second last fence. The victory was by a margin of 25 lengths and with the 7lb penalty being negated by Conor Orr’s claim the horse looks poised to go in again quickly here. The only worry is that this comes too soon, but the shrewd trainer knows the time of day and so the fact he takes his place tells its own story and makes him the confident selection.
If the selection was not fully recovered from Tuesday’s exertions then the one to take advantage is the Neil Mulholland runner Matrow’s Lady. A wide margin winner herself, she comes here in good form with two placed efforts coming before that success in a four runner contest at Fontwell. She is also partnered by the experienced Sam Waley-Cohen and so represents the obvious danger off only 1lb higher today.
Colin Tizzard’s Marden Court looks poised to take advantage if the top two fail to fire after a promising runner up run last time out at Exeter. The five-year-old gelding looked a promising sort that day, but would have to come on again to be competitive here.
The all-weather track plas host to a highly competitive card on Thursday night and the Division 2 handicap is a race that certainly fits into that category nicely.
Gary Moore’s three-year-old Emperors Warrior looks to be the stand out selection that cold be the answer to a very tricky looking conundrum. The Gelding was a ready course and distance winner here back in October before disappointing when stepped up to seven furlongs 12 days ago. That run is best ignored as the horse seems to be more of a sprinter and so he will relish the drop in trip today off a mark of just 2lbs higher. The booking of the experienced hands of George Baker only strengthens the case so he looks poised to strike again and is the confident pick.
The main danger is likely to come from Milton Bradley’s runner Burauq. The three-year-old sprung a huge surprise to land the spoils over today’s distance at Lingfield last time out. That was a career-best and she will be a big player if coming on from that effort here with the experienced Franny Norton in the saddle.
Another interesting one to note is Richard Fahey’s runner Scarlet Bounty. The three-year-old filly makes her polytrack debut after a series of disappointing efforts on the turf, but the stable hockey Tony Hamilton makes the trip to take the mount and he could be dangerous off this mark if he returns to anywhere near her two-year-old form.
Emperors Warrior (E/W)