Keith Reveley, who completed a double at Catterick a fortnight ago with Special Catch and Flora’s Pride, can make a flying start to 2013 by achieving an encore this afternoon.
The Saltburn trainer takes the same two horses back to the North Yorkshire venue and both have outstanding chances of winning again.
Special Catch will be particularly hard to beat in the opening Happy New Year Novices’ Hurdle.
A bumper winner on the track last season, he was hugely impressive over hurdles on his latest start, cruising through the race and forging clear with the minimum of fuss in the closing stages.
It is a while since Reveley had a potentially high-class horse, but Special Catch fits that bill and it will be a surprise if he fails to defy a penalty on his Catterick return.
While James Reveley, son of the trainer, again takes the mount on Special Catch, amateur rider Russell Lindsay is reunited with Flora’s Pride in the Mirror Punters Club Handicap Hurdle.
The partnership prevailed by two and a quarter lengths on this course last month and although Flora’s Pride has been raised 7lb for that success, she looks capable of confirming her superiority over runner-up Knight Valliant.
In the Congratulations John Sanderson OBE Novices’ Chase – a race named in recognition of the chief executive of International Racecourse Management, which manages Catterick and who was among the New Year’s Honours – See What Happens, trained in Cumbria by Martin Todhunter, boasts strong claims.
Another fancied mount on the card for James Reveley, See What Happens, a Carlisle hurdle winner last season, made a bright start to his chasing career at Wetherby in October when finishing a good second to African Broadway, trained by David Pipe.
A former successful point-to-pointer, See What Happens looks a decent prospect.
Classical Mist makes plenty of appeal in the Mirror Punters Club Handicap Chase.
David O’Meara’s mare benefited from a superb ride from Denis O’Regan to win a beginners’ chase by six lengths here last month. More will be required in this handicap, but Classical Mist has plenty going for her. Jake Greenall takes the mount.
John Wade is bidding to strike while the iron is hot with No Way Hozay in the RacingUK.com Handicap Chase.
The seven-year-old won here last week and turns out again under a 7lb penalty. Wilson Renwick again has the mount on the gelding, who comes from a stable in good form.
Donald McCain, a prolific producer of winners, rarely leaves Catterick empty-handed and today is likely to be no exception. The best of his runners on the card promises to be Dungeel in the Yorkshire-Outdoors.co.uk Novices’ Hurdle.
The Cheshire raider ran out a seven-length winner at Leicester last time and looks capable of defying a penalty in the hands of Henry Brooke, who rattled up a treble for McCain at Sedgefield on Boxing Day.
Tomorrow at Wolverhampton, trainer Philip Kirby, who on Sunday moved stables from Castleton on the North York Moors to Middleham to take over Kate Walton’s yard, can saddle his first winner from his new base.
A shrewd operator under both codes, Kirby saddles two runners in the opening amateur riders’ handicap, Stormy Morning and Goldan Jess, and preference is for the latter, for whom top amateur Simon Walker looks a significant booking.
Far from disgraced in a competitive hurdle at Musselburgh last time, Goldan Jess had previously been beaten by only a neck into second on this course by Italian Riviera. He can go one better this time and is awarded the nap vote.
Punters could also do worse than aim for a ‘Polar’ double with the Richard Fahey-trained Polar Kite (3.40) and the William Haggas-trained Polar Venture (4.40).
12.40 Special Catch, 1.10 See What Happens, 1.45 Flora’s Pride, 2.20 Classical Mist, 2.55 No Way Hozay, 3.30 Dungeel.
Today’s other meetings: Exeter (inspection 8am), Fakenham, Musselburgh and Wolverhampton. Cheltenham was abandoned.
2.10 Goldan Jess (NAP), 2.40 Sir George, 3.10 Fortunate Bid, 3.40 Polar Kite, 4.10 Miss Bunter, 4.40 Polar Venture, 5.10 Malindi.
Tomorrow’s meetings: Ayr, Kempton and Lingfield.