Former Richard Fahey jockey Jamie Hamilton returns north with winning chance

Jamie Hamilton, who switched from Richard Fahey’s Malton stable to Venetia Williams in Herefordshire a couple of months ago, returns to North Yorkshire today and has good prospects of figuring on the scoreboard at Catterick.

Hamilton, who rode a point-to-point winner at Alnwick over the weekend, teams up with the Brian Rothwell-trained Queen Of Epirus in the Book Now For New Year’s Day Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle.

Trained at Norton by Brian Rothwell, Queen Of Epirus finished a respectable second to Amir Pasha at Sedgefield recently.

She will not lack from assistance from Hamilton, who memorably won the Fox Hunters’ Chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree in April on 100-1 shot Tartan Snow.

Tony McCoy will be in action at Catterick aboard a horse who gave him a nasty fall at Fakenham last month.

Dursey Sound got rid of the 18-time champion jockey when ploughing through the final fence as he challenged the eventual winner King Of The Wolds. He had also unshipped his rider on his previous outing at Market Rasen.

Dursey Sound, trained by Jonjo O’Neill, is equipped with first-time headgear in an aid to his concentration in the Buy Your 2014 Annual Badge Today Novices’ Handicap Chase.

Fingers crossed that he puts in a clear round. If so, he will take plenty of beating.

Lord Of Drums will be a popular choice among punters in the Go Racing In Yorkshire Winter Festival Handicap Chase.

Lucinda Russell’s gelding was a five lengths winner at Musselburgh last week. That success was recorded in a conditional jockeys’ race so Lord Of Drums escapes a penalty today.

He promises to prove a tough nut to crack, so long as this race does not come too soon for him.

The Catterick Interactive Novices’ Handicap Chase is a tricky little race, but Mandarin Sunset may prove the answer in the hands of Brian Hughes.

The six-year-old was an authoritative winner of a maiden hurdle at Musselburgh at the end of last month. More will be required here, but Mandarin Sunset is racing off a mark of only 115 on his chasing bow and may well be able to take advantage.

On the Flat at Southwell, Michael Appleby is fancied to continue his recent purple patch.

The shrewd trainer has had a flood of winners lately and Arabian Flight and Ivy Port are fancied to add to his tally in the first two races on this card.

Arabian Flight, who runs in the Ladbrokes Handicap, was a good fourth at Wolverhampton last time after a previous win at Kempton. He now has to prove his effectiveness on this surface but he holds all the aces, otherwise and is napped to win.

Ivy Port lines up in the 32Red Fillies’ Handicap after a creditable second-placed effort behind Sakhash here last weekend. She is a previous winner on this course and is selected to resume winning ways over an extra furlong.

Also worth noting on the Fibresand circuit are course specialist La Estrella (2.00), the mount of Graham Lee, and Lexi’s Hope (3.30), who represents Fahey.


Racing selections

Catterick today 12.10 Queen Of Epirus, 12.40 Mandarin Sunset, 1.10 Lord Of Drums, 1.40 Fennell Bay, 2.10 Gulf Punch, 2.40 Dursey Sound, 3.10 He’s A Gentleman.

Southwell today 12.30 Arabian Flight (NAP), 1.00 Ivy Port, 1.30 Definite Secret, 2.00 La Estrella, 2.30 Rambo Will, 3.00 Jillywinks, 3.30 Lexi’s Hero.

Today’s other meeting: Fakenham.

Tomorrow’s meetings: Kempton, Lingfield and Ludlow.

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