Retrieve The Stick, who left her rivals toiling in her wake at Kelso on her latest start, bids to add to that victory at Newcastle this afternoon.
Trained at Norton by Malcolm Jefferson, the five-year-old will again be partnered by Brian Hughes in the Catherine Doran 90th Birthday EBF Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
A 6lb penalty for her Kelso success, which saw her 19 lengths clear at the line, hardly looks too much of a burden for Retrieve The Stick as she aims to double her score.
Jefferson and Hughes may be able to also win the EBF Stallions Mares’ National Hunt Flat Race with Oleohneh.
The six-year-old has yet to race, so it is a guessing game just how good she is, but she is a nicely-bred mare by Flemensfirth. She clearly commands respect.
In the S V Rutter Handicap Hurdle, Cumbrian Farmer has useful claims if he is able to reproduce the form he showed at Catterick last month when he broke his duck in good style in an amateur riders’ handicap.
Trainer George Bewley was not completely surprised by that success and describes the gelding as a slow-maturing horse who had always shown ability at home. There may be more to come from Cumbrian Farmer, who is fancied to follow up.
The Marriott Interactive Handicap Chase, with £11,000 up for grabs, is the most valuable race on the Newcastle card and Rolecarr may be the one to be on.
Although yet to get his head in front this season, Ann Hamilton’s gelding took a step forward when filling the frame at Kelso on his latest outing. He is on a handy mark now of 120 and,` with Graham Watters claiming 7lb, he has a fair chance of resuming winning ways.
Sandown’s principal meeting has, alas, been abandoned because of waterlogging, but Wincanton will hopefully go ahead as planned.
Paul Nicholls has excellent prospects of winning both divisions of the Bathwick Tyres Bridgwater Novices’ Hurdle.
Tagrita, a good winner at Exeter a couple of weeks ago, can lift the opening leg and is napped to do so, while Black Cow, a fair third at Doncaster on his hurdling bow, is selected to come good in the second division.
The £20,000 Bathwick Tyres Handicap Chase is the feature race on the card and Toby Lerone deserves attention as he seeks his third win of the season.
Trained by Dan Skelton, who has made a fine start to his training career, Toby Lerone won at Lingfield and Southwell before coming to grief over the Grand National fences in the Grand Sefton Chase four weeks ago.
Back to more traditional obstacles here, Toby Lerone is taken to get back in the winning groove.
Also worth noting are the promising Silsol (2.40) and Dan Pooleoni (3.50).
12.00 Retrieve The Stick, 12.35 Dotties Dilema, 1.05 Cumbrian Farmer, 1.40 Rolecarr, 2.15 Sam Lord, 2.50 Ben Akram, 3.25 Oleohneh.
12.25 Tagrita (NAP), 12.55 Black Cow, 1.30 Flaming Charmer, 2.05 Toby Lerone, 2.40 Silsol, 3.15 Mighty Mobb, 3.50 Don Pooleoni.
Today’s other meetings: Wincanton, Newcastle and Lingfield. Sandown is off.
Tomorrow’s meetings: Plumpton and Southwell.