Brian Ellison, who completed a treble at Catterick on Thursday, can continue his purple patch at Wetherby this afternoon.
The Norton trainer saddles nap selection Yesyoucan in the Star Sports Cheltenham Preview Night Novices’ Chase, with the nine-year-old fancied to prevail in the hands of Wayne Hutchinson.
A fluent winner at Newcastle two starts back, Yesyoucan could finish only third to Eduard at Carlisle last time, but he had an excuse that day as he was racing over an inadequate two miles.
Back to his winning distance of two and a half miles today, Yesyoucan, a strong galloper, can come out on top for his in-form handler.
Richard Lee, who recently won the Welsh Grand National with Mountainous, has his team in great form and the Shropshire trainer is fancied to complete a Wetherby double with Grey Gold and Ravens Brook.
The latter goes for the totepool Medieval Day – Saturday 1st February Handicap Chase after a smart win at Bangor on his latest start. He should go well again in the hands of Jamie Moore.
A rare visitor to Wetherby, Moore also rides Grey Gold in the Download The New Racing UK IPad App Handicap Chase, which is the richest race on the card, with a prize fund of £18,000.
Winner of two of his five races over fences, Grey Gold has run two sound races this term and looks ready to return to winning form. The soft ground should suit.
The meeting kicks off with the EBF Stallions Novices’ Hurdle and an appearance by the unbeaten Red Sherlock, who makes the long journey from David Pipe’s West Country yard.
Successful in three bumpers, including one at Cheltenham on his seasonal debut, Red Sherlock has since scored over hurdles at Southwell, winning easily from inferior rivals.
He has more on his plate here, but he looks a horse with masses of ability and potential. Timmy Murphy rides.
Kempton has a struggle to draw crowds for its all-weather Flat meetings, but today’s classy jumps fixture should be a different matter, particularly as the card is highlighted by the re-scheduled Tolworth Hurdle, sponsored by William Hill.
This is another race in which Pipe is strongly represented. He saddles The Liquidator, who is unbeaten in his two races over hurdles at Carlisle and Cheltenham. This is a much tougher task for the six-year-old, but he commands plenty of respect in a fascinating race.
Toby Lerone gets the vote in the williamhill.com Handicap Chase. Dan Skelton’s gelding won at Southwell and Lingfield before coming to grief early on in the Grand Sefton Chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree last month. He merits attention back over traditional obstacles this afternoon.
In the williamhill.com Chase, Pepite Rose is fancied to take advantage of bottom weight.
Venetia Williams’ smart mare underlined her well-being when winning the Castleford Chase at Wetherby’s Christmas meeting.
Although her rating has since shot up by 8lb, she comes into this race with leading claims. Liam Treadwell has the mount.
11.55 Grey Blue, 12.25 Toby Lerone, 1.00 Closing Ceremony, 1.35 The Liquidator, 2.10 Pepite Rose, 2.40 If In Doubt, 3.15 Relax, 3.50 Lyvius.
12.35 Red Sherlock, 1.10 Yesyoucan (NAP), 1.45 Pertuis, 2.15 Grey Gold, 2.50 Lord Protector, 3.25 Ravens Brook, 3.55 Molly Cat.
Today’s other meetings: Lingfield and Warwick.
Tomorrow’s meetings: Kelso and Wolverhampton.