Betvictor’s Charlie McCann previews Tuesday’s cards (24th Jan)
Further support yesterday for Yorkhill who is now 11/8 (from 6/4) at BetVictor for the JLT Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham in March having won in a decent time at Leopardstown on Sunday despite the fact that he jumped markedly out to the left at several of his fences.
A competitive card at Wetherby this afternoon with the feature race a two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase with eight due to face the starter. Future Gilded has been raised 8lbs for his Catterick win earlier in the month but he has more to offer, as does Easy Street, for whom a market move would be worth noting.
A chance is taken, however, on the stamina of Monbeg Rover (3.30) who had yet to be asked a question when brought down at the cross-fence four out at Aintree last time. The selection had previously looked to find two miles too sharp at Cheltenham on his penultimate outing and the stable of Martin Todhunter are in cracking form of late.
Dream Flyer (2.30) did us a favour at Musselburgh earlier in the month despite jumping out to his left on his first start for Keith Dalgleish. Today’s left-handed track should suit and a 7lb rise looks fair for this lightly-raced ten-year-old who has won off a higher mark than today’s in the past.
Swing Hard is another who looks well-treated at present and today’s better ground will certainly suit more than the heavy ground he encountered on his belated reappearance at Hexham. Trained by Sue Smith I think we will see a different horse this afternoon.
Do note that Tom Scudamore rides Fingerontheswitch (cheek-pieces first time) for Neil Mulholland but it is suggested that the reason for the jockey travelling to west Yorkshire over the East Midlands is Mr Big Shot (4.00) in the last.
Mr Big Shot created a very favourable impression when winning a Uttoxeter bumper on his racecourse debut for David Pipe and is certainly bred to get further than today’s two mile trip over obstacles. It is possible that he will lack the necessary tactical speed for the minimum trip but connections are reported to think a fair bit of him – note he runs in the same colours as BetVictor’s 9/2 favourite for the Cheltenham curtain-raiser – the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Moor Racer.
Leicester must pass an 8am inspection with overnight frost the danger although the executive described the inspection as precautionary. The feature is a listed mares’ chase over just shy of three miles and Tagrita (2.20) is taken to confirm Huntingdon form from November with The Organist despite the fact that there is a lot more to come from the latter over fences than has been the case so far.
Tagrita is unbeaten in two starts over fences and jumped better than her market rival over an inadequate trip at Exeter last time. La Vaticane is the one to beat on official BHB figures but I’m not convinced her recent Doncaster win was the strongest contest for the track and Tagrita gets the nod in a terrific race.
Global Stage (2.50) cannot be opposed in the 2m 4f Novices’ Hurdle having finished a promising fourth on his debut under rules for Fergal O’Brien in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle over the minimum trip at Sandown earlier in the month. This step up in trip will suit and he has the scope to become a top class chaser in time.
The valuable Novices’ Chase looks a match between A Hare Breath and Romain De Senam (3.20) with preference for the latter in receipt of 8lbs from the former whose jumping improved as the race went on when making a winning start over fences last month.
The selection finished runner-up in the Fred Winter at the Festival last year and was a tad keen when last of three finishers at Newbury over the larger obstacles on New Year’s Eve. Paul Nicholls reapplies a hood this afternoon and it will be interesting to see what tactics jockey Sam Twiston-Davies employs.
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