NORTH Yorkshire trainer Brian Ellison is aiming to strike while the iron is hot with Yorkist at Market Rasen today.
The gelding has won his last two races at Catterick, the latest of which was gained last week in the hands of his now regular rider, Nathan Moscrop.
The handicapper has raised him a whopping 17lb for that success and his new mark will kick in on Saturday.
Ellison, however, is running Yorkist this afternoon in the Calverts Carpets And Flooring York Handicap Hurdle off his old mark, but with only a 6lb penalty.
Getting in before the handicapper exacts his revenge is clearly the policy of the Norton handler, whose enterprise is expected to be handsomely rewarded in this £5,000 contest with a runner who, in theory, has 11lb in hand of his rivals.
Malcolm Jefferson saddles Firth Of The Clyde in the Calverts Carpets York Handicap Chase and he is fancied to gain his second success from three starts over the major obstacles.
The nine-year-old got off the mark with a battling display against Tahiti Pearl at Wetherby at the end of November. He has gone up 7lb for that win, but the extra burden may not stop this talented and strapping gelding.
Jefferson has an interesting runner from his Norton base in the opening Calverts Carpets York Novices’ Hurdle in Enchanted Garden.
A winner of a bumper and also a handicap on the Flat, Enchanted Garden is now set to make his debut over timber. He should not be underestimated from a yard in top form.
In the Calverts Carpets York Handicap Hurdle, it is hard to get away from the strong claims of Joanne One, the mount of Tony McCoy.
Jamie Snowden’s smart mare, a dual bumper winner, has won both her races over hurdles and now enters handicap company for the first time. She will be hard to beat if fully fit after a break since mid-November.
Sheriff Hutton trainer Tim Walford was slightly disappointed that Kodicil could not do a little better than fourth place behind Grate Deal at Catterick a couple of weeks ago.
He fits blinkers for the first time on the gelding in the Calverts Carpets And Flooring Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle. The headgear could well work the oracle and Tony Kelly takes the mount.
At Wincanton, Monkerty Tunkerty should make a bold bid in the Higos Insurance Services Somerset National, having finished a good third behind Reblis recently in the Sussex National.
Jessica Westwood’s gelding, now into the veteran stage, may not be as good as he once was, but he still looks capable of winning in his turn and he is a previous scorer on this course.
Denali Highway should not be dismissed lightly in the Higos Insurance Services Platinum Handicap Chase.
A good second at Wetherby on his reappearance, Caroline Bailey’s gelding has since finished a decent third to Financial Climate at Newbury. He is selected to make it third time lucky under Andrew Thornton.
Previous course winner Quick Decisson (2.50) and the consistent Flaming Charmer (3.20) are two others to note.
Market Rasen (today) 1.30 Enchanted Garden, 2.00 Yorkist (NAP), 2.30 Joanne One, 3.30 Firth Of The Clyde, 3.30 Ultimatum Du Roy, 4.00 Kodicil.
Wincanton (today) 1.20 Golanova, 1.50 Denali Highway, 2.20 Monkerty Tunkerty, 2.50 Quick Decisson, 3.20 Flaming Charmer, 3.50 Baltimore Rock, 4.20 Vieux Lion Rouge.
Today’s other meetings: Ludlow and Wolverhampton.
Tomorrow’s meetings: Musselburgh, Chepstow, Lingfield and Wolverhampton.