Timeform’s Wetherby Tips
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
Those with hurdling form don’t set a very high standard in this maiden contest which can therefore go to one of those switching from bumpers. Winning Irish pointer BALLYBEG BOSS made a promising start to his career under Rules for Donald McCain when runner-up at Hereford last month, running green and given a considerate introduction but rallying in the straight to be beaten four and a quarter lengths behind Alcedo. He can go one better on his hurdling debut in an ordinary-looking affair. Lethal Industry and Ffree Pedro, a stablemate of the selection, are considered the main threats.
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This novice could well develop into a two-horse race between the penalised pair HITCHING JACKING for Dan Skelton and Choosethenews trained by Mark Walford. The latter looked a useful prospect when winning on his debut at Ayr but the Skelton yard has a near 30% strike rate at Wetherby and narrow preference is for their representative. Hitching Jacking was placed in a bumper and novice hurdle on his first two starts at Wetherby but showed plenty of improvement when quickening clear to get off the mark by six lengths at Uttoxeter last month.
A tricky handicap chase in which all six runners can be given chances. Bottom weight DESTINED TO SHINE looks on a good mark for Kerry Lee and was narrowly beaten on his latest visit to Wetherby last winter. He went on to lower the colours of some smart chasers in a better contest than this at Chepstow later in February and is taken to overcome an absence since then. Witness Protection is another on a tempting mark after a still longer absence, and if that pair do fail to fire, last year’s winner of this, Cornerstone Lad, could follow up.
HOGANVILLE failed to win from several attempts over hurdles in Ireland but has really thrived since joining George Bewley and completed a hat-trick in handicaps at Hexham, Ayr and Kelso in the autumn all under promising conditional jockey Conor Rabbitt who takes 7 lb off the top-weight’s back again here. Hoganville won cosily at Kelso by three quarters of a length from You Some Boy and he can go on to land the four-timer against these novices, though Hattons Gardens is an interesting contender as he goes up in trip on his handicap debut. Nights In Venice could also go well back down in grade.
The ex-French IROKO was highly tried in a couple of juvenile hurdles last season and was well supported for his handicap debut for Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero when staying on strongly to make a successful reappearance over this course and distance in November. With further progress anticipated from this lightly-raced five-year-old, he could well be up to defying a 5 lb higher mark here. Rafferty’s Return and Foster’sisland, who were first and second here on Boxing Day are others to consider, whilst veteran Captain Zebo is also worth a second look.
A winner twice over hurdles last season, the Sue Smith-trained EAST STREET has few miles on the clock and looks interesting on a first try over three miles after a couple of runs over fences this term. He left the form of his chase debut behind when third behind Whistleinthedark and Betty Baloo in a novices’ handicap at Market Rasen on Boxing Day and has the potential to do better still upped in trip. Mackelduff can look hard work but should improve from his chase bow, whilst Cash To Ash also shouldn’t be discounted.
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This mares’ bumper can go to one of the newcomers and Dan Skelton’s SWEET OR DRY fits the bill as her dam Sherry herself made a winning debut in a bumper at this track. She’s preferred to fellow debutant Inkwell who represents Donald McCain and Brian Hughes, while Hierarchy is the best of those with experience but she’ll likely to need to improve on her second at Hexham last May if she’s to see off one of the newcomers.
Timeform’s Wetherby Tips
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
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