We’ve teamed up with BetVictor and Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
A bumper four National Hunt cards on Thursday afternoon in the UK and Ireland with action from Clonmel across the Irish Sea and domestic jump racing from Huntingdon, Musselburgh and Sedgefield.
John Wade and Brian Hughes have combined well at Sedgefield and Stilo Blue Native (3.40) looks well-treated to give the trainer his first winner at the track in 2015.
The selection is a point-to-point winner in his native Ireland and was an eye-catcher when chasing home Aqalim over course and distance last month. That was his first run for new connections and with the winner franking that form since, the seven-year-old can make his first foray into handicap company a successful one.
Sue Smith’s Ballymoat (4.15) disappointed at Wetherby over Christmas but can continue his excellent record over two and three quarter miles in the feature handicap chase.
Jonathan England gets on well with the selection, riding him to victory two starts back at Southwell, and is excellent value for his 3lb claim. He suffered an 8lb rise for those efforts however has relatively few miles on the clock and is open to much further progression. He can record a second career success on just his ninth start over fences.
Donald McCain has two runners at the Durham-based track however stable jockey Jason Maguire heads to Musselburgh with a full book of six rides for his boss and Wilcos Mo Chara (3.30) the duo’s best chance of a winner in the two miles’ handicap hurdle.
The selection is a point-to-point winner and made the perfect start to life under Rules when running out an impressive winner of a bumper at the track last November. He shed the maiden tag over timber earlier this season at Bangor, before running poorly when the stable were out of form over Christmas. An opening mark of 113 looks fairly lenient and he can continue the pair’s fine record in the race; winning last year’s renewal with the similarly progressive, and well backed, Cool Sky.
Trainer Lucinda Russell won last year’s 3m Handicap Chase with Ben Akram and her Present Lodger (4.05) is a confident selection to land the hat-trick stepped in this year’s renewal under regular pilot Peter Buchanan.
The selection strolled to success last month at Ayr and followed up last time out when making all up at Newcastle. The handicapper has raised him 13lb for those two successes however he should be even better on a sounder surface and can continue is ascent up the weights and go in again with the minimum of fuss.
Just four go to post for the feature at Huntingdon, a Listed Novices Hurdle and Richard Lee’s Kylemore Lough and Philip Hobbs’ Brother Tedd top-rated with an official rating of 140.
Charlie Longsdon’s A Vos Gardes showed a tremendous attitude to win last time out at Doncaster however Nicky Henderson’s Different Gravey (3.50) should be just that and can return to winning ways under Barry Geraghty.
The selection lowered the colours of stablemate Days of Heaven when an impressive winner of a Maiden Hurdle at Newbury but hated the dead, tacky ground last time out at Cheltenham when finishing fourth behind Harry Fry’s Thomas Brown. The dogs have long been barking about this Seven Barrows inmate however and he can bounce back, en-route to a likely campaign over fences next term.
Venetia Williams’ Tango De Juilley will be fancied for the Novices’ Chase on the card however Mountain King (3.15) can shed the maiden tag over the larger obstacles under Richard Johnson.
The selection receives 7lb from the likely favourite and made a satisfactory start to life over fences when chasing home Top Gamble and Far West last time out at Newbury. He has the scope to improve and can make it second time lucky for the in-form Philip Hobbs yard.
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