14:00 Market Rasen
A small field of runners for our first contest and a potential shorty in the shape of Kasakh Noir for the Skelton team with brother Harry taking the ride. The horse showed some real potential at Newbury back in December last year and could well be a horse to follow after gaining an opening mark of 133.
Wolfcatcher for Aidan Coleman and John Ferguson could be a very nice recruit in the trainer’s last year in this role. The horse will run off the same weight as Kasakh Noir and comes here with one win from one run. It came at this track on heavy ground back in December and the softer ground won’t be a problem.
These two could fight it out and it would be a major surprise if the winner didn’t come from the Skelton or Ferguson team. Wolfcatcher may be just the better value at the prices having won at the track under the merest of drives.
No Through Road makes a decent trip up the country to compete in this Class 4 contest over 2m 5f. The Scudamore trained Gelding ran very creditably last year in differing conditions but has failed to build on that this season. He has slipped down the weights and arrives here arguably too good for some of these, on last season’s form. He will act on the ground and has the trainer’s grandson on board who coaxed most of those good performances from the horse.
Court Dismissed, 3lbs higher than No Through Road, is a 6 year old who once again found one too good at Market Rasen back in December but could have plenty of progress compared to some in the field. The horse is another falling in the weights and with ground maybe more to his liking he has a good chance.
Verko is the really interesting one here and may run a big race. Micky Hammond enjoyed a fine strike rate right at the start of the season but that somewhat tailed off. He has won 3 of his last 4 races on varying grounds, carries a low weight here and has Finnian O’Toole taking 7lb off making him the best value, best in form and the best at the weights
The best form coming into this race is held by Copt Hill. Tracey Waggott’s horse is a course and distance winner and the ground won’t hold any issues for him. His performance at Catterick and here at this track suggest he is happy going on wide open spaces as well as on a tight undulating one too.
King’s Chorister is a horse who is almost out of the handicap here and has some decent runs at another north east track, Newcastle but may appreciate the very low weight here. There isn’t a huge deal of competition and the decision to put Lorcan Murtagh on could prove a very wise move with an extra 7 coming off.
Hi Dancer and Fiddler’s Flight are two other course and distance winners who could run big races here, making this a trappy contest overall. The former is lightly raced but in no sort of form, having been tried on the flat too and the latter may find this track ideal but again hasn’t really kicked on since winning here.
Copt Hill (WIN)