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Thursday, 28 April 2016

5.20 Redcar, Thursday, April 28

In the 5.20 at Redcar on Thursday, Footlight was a convincing winner on her turf debut, over 7 furlongs at Catterick eight days ago and may be capable of defying a 6lb penalty. The Showcasing filly took a while to find her form, but is 2-3 under conditional jockey Adam McNamara, a recent recruit from Ireland to Richard Fahey’s stable, and proved her stamina when winning over a mile on the Fibresand at Southwell three starts ago. She’s the only distance winner – in fact, the only winner of any description – in the field so, while a few of her rivals remain unexposed, she appears to have an obvious chance, even giving weight away all around. She’s already had ten starts since November, but appears to be thriving on racing and a mile on soft going could conceivably eke out a little more improvement.

Selection: Redcar 5.20 Footlight to win

Monday, 18 April 2016

3.30 Catterick, Tuesday, April 19

In the 2016 Catterick Twelve Furlong Series Handicap (3.30), Dalaki hasn’t had many attempts on soft going, but sprung a 50/1 surprise over hurdles at Fakenham on New Year’s Day and ran creditably in defeat when fifth of 10, beaten 3¼ lengths, behind Alphabetical Order in a similar race on the Flat at Doncaster earlier this month. The son of Dalakhani is just 1lb higher in the weights than when last winning on the Flat and the booking of Tony Hamilton, who replaces amateur rider Mr. Ryan Bird, takes the eye. Interestingly, Richard Fahey’s stable jockey has never had a ride for Newmarket trainer
Des Donovan, who, in turn, has never saddled a runner at Catterick. So, if the 5-year-old does prevail, it’ll be a day of firsts all around.

Selection: Catterick 3.30 Dalaki to win

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

4.40 Aintree, Thursday, April 7

In the Betfred Red Rum Handicap Chase (4.40) at Aintree on Thursday, Pearls Legend is 10lb higher in the weights than when a rallying third, beaten 2¼ lengths, in the same race last year, but only 4lb higher than when winning at Cheltenham in December and looks far from impossibly handicapped. John Spearing’s 9-year-old doesn’t know how to run a bad race and his latest fifth of 24, beaten 8¼ lengths, behind Solar Impulse in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last month was another solid effort. Indeed, the form has already been franked by the fourth, Savello, who won a small conditions chase in good style at Kelso last Saturday.

Pearls Legend 1lb lower in the weights here and, having recorded four of his five career wins on properly soft ground, any rain that falls is in his favour. Regular partner Jamie Moore is at Taunton but, in his absence, Nico De Boinville, who won on him at Cheltenham, comes in for the ride, so the Midnight Legend gelding appears to have plenty going for him.

Selection: Aintree 4.40 Pearls Legend to win