RACE PREVIEWS & TIPS (FRIDAY)

13:45 Catterick The 2m3f hurdle at Catterick looks a straight shootout between two previous winners. Jedd O’Keefe’s Sam Spinner looks the one to be on after an impressive win on New Year’s Day made it two wins from three races over hurdles. The runner up, 7 lengths behind the selection that day, has since franked the form, so the five-year-old looks a real threat to be reckoned with today despite a 10lb rise in the weights for that recent success. He only has to concede 4lb to his only serious rival and should take all the beating in this field so gets the nod. The serious rival in question is Malcolm Jefferson’s Mr Monochrome, who hasn’t been out of the first three in his five starts under rules and he was staying on well against a smart rival when runner up back in November. The form has been franked with that rival having won twice since, but he may just have bumped into a smart one here in Sam Spinner so may have to settle for runner’s up berth again barring accidents. Reverant Cust looks the best of the remainder having improved on his bumper form with a respectable fifth on his recent hurdle debut, but he has loads to find just to trouble the principles. SAM SPINNER (WIN)

15:20 Catterick A competitive looking handicap chase here, but Michael Scudamore looks to have a real progressive sort on his hands with the aptly named Two Smoking Barrels. The horse has taken to fences like a duck to water with three stylish wins from three starts over the larger obstacles. The 8-year-old completed the hat trick in some style at Kelso last month. The lightly raced mare has been raised another 7lb for her troubles, but the four length margin would suggest she has plenty more to come and the trainer looks to have found her a good opportunity to extend her unbeaten record over fences. She gets the confident nod today. There are a few dangers in the field for her to overcome with the main threat likely to come from Ben Pauling’s Treaty Girl who has shown improved form on each of her outings this season. The second place at Newbury last time out against the boys is useful form, but she has to prove she handles the forecast ground, which the selection will relish, so she has a few questions to answer. Of the remainder, Conquer Gold went down by five lengths to the selection on chase debut at Kelso last month and is now 6lb better off, so she should get closer here, but would need to improve a fair amount to land this. TWO SMOKING BARRELS (WIN) – NAP

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