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Harvey Smith prospect Coverholder proving more than eminent value
Who says you’ve got to spend a fortune to secure success in racing? Not Harvey Smith, that’s for sure.
The former show-jumping legend is forever on the lookout for bargain buys and he certainly found one at Catterick at the end of December.
No sooner had Smith seen Coverholder win a selling hurdle for Welsh trainer Tim Vaughan then he stepped in at the auction and snapped him up for 6,000 guineas. He has never had any cause for regret.
Now trained by Sue Smith, Harvey’s wife at the family yard in Bingley, Coverholder has proved a revelation.
He has since won four-out-of-four at Doncaster, Kelso, Wetherby and Bangor by an aggregate of 26 lengths.
Coverholder is out again at Carlisle today. He runs in the Cheltenham Festival Shown Live On Racing UK Novices’ Handicap Hurdle and, on his current form, will take plenty of beating. Jonathan England, who has struck up a wonderful association with the six-year-old, again takes the ride.
Samantha Drake, who is attached to the Joanne Foster yard at Menston not too far from the Smith stable, takes the mount on Keeverfield in the Cheltenham Festival Preview After Racing Handicap Chase.
Winner of 11 point-to-points, Keeverfield did much to put Drake on the map as an amateur, and is now adding a helpful hand to her career as a conditional rider.
The pair prevailed at Market Rasen last time and a follow up looks on the cards. Going right-handed is a must for Keeverfield, who should be very much at home on this course.
Catherine Walton is another female rider with good prospects of figuring on the scoresheet.
She teams up with Saddle Pack in the Haweswater Handicap Chase and the return to two miles should be ideal for the gelding, who was beaten over further last time out, having previously scored over a fraction more than the minimum trip at Kelso.
Also worth noting at Carlisle are the promising Big Water (3.15) and stable-mate Bob’s Lady Tara (5.20), who has run well in both her bumpers to date for North Yorkshire trainer Alan Swinbank.
The nap vote at Wolverhampton tomorrow evening is awarded to Petrol in the Sponsor A Race Handicap.
Previously trained by Luca Cumani and now with David O’Meara, Petrol got off the mark at his fourth attempt on this course recently on his handicap debut.
He won quite tidily that day and, given that he’s so lightly-raced, is probably open to further improvement. He is fancied to shrug off a 6lb penalty in a race which is no better than selling plate standard.
Tim Easterby can win the opening 32Red.com Handicap with Hazard Warning, who seems particularly well suited to this course.
He has sandwiched a defeat at Southwell between two Wolverhampton wins, the latest coming in decisive style last week. Like Petrol, he may be able to score off a 6lb higher mark.
The £19,000 wolverhampton-racecourse.co.uk Handicap is a tricky looking and competitive affair. Brian Ellison’s French recruit Wyborne, easy winner of a maiden here a month ago, promises to go well, but preference is for Flying Power. John Norton’s smart performer is a three-time winner on this course and still looks feasibly handicapped. Paddy Aspell rides.
2.10 Knight Valliant, 2.40 Tutchec, 3.15 Big Water, 3.45 Keeverfield, 4.20 Coverholder, 4.50 Saddle Pack, 5.20 Bob’s Lady Tara.
Today’s other meetings: Southwell, Wincanton and Wolverhampton.
5.40 Hazard Warning, 6.10 Cincinnatti Kit, 6.40 Lignum Vitae, 7.10 Flying Power, 7.40 Petrol (NAP), 8.10 Broughton’s Bandit, 8.40 Scary Movie.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Ayr, Leicester and Sandown.