A TEENAGER with a famous North Yorkshire racing pedigree is set to make his debut - rain permitting - at Wetherby this evening.
Henry Morshead is the son of Anthea Morshead, assistant clerk of the course at York and former crack amateur rider, and the grandson of former Brandsby trainer Peter Beaumont, who sent out Jodami to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Morshead, whose father Sam, clerk of the course at Perth, was a successful jump jockey, has the racing genes in his blood and, the 17-year-old, who is a pupil at Cheltenham College, is clearly intent on pursuing a riding career.
This evening, after a few mounts in point-to-points, he has his first ride under National Hunt Rule. He partners Locked Inthepocket, trained by his mother, in the Wetherby Racecourse Open Hunters' Chase. The ten-year-old was recently runner-up in a point-to-point, which confirmed his well-being.
He will, however, need to raise his game considerably if he is to lower the colours of Oscar Time, the mount of Sam Waley-Cohen, pictured, and a horse who was good enough to finish fourth to Auroras Encore in last year's Grand National.
Now a 13-year-old, Oscar Time is past his best, but he remains a force to be reckoned with at this level as he proved when winning easily last time out at Uttoxeter. The chances are he will follow up tonight, but fingers are crossed that Morshead can enjoy a good spin on Locked Inthepocket.
Izzini, who makes the journey across the Irish Sea from Stuart Crawford's successful yard, will be hard to beat in the opening Mini Cooper York Mares' Novices' Hurdle.
The six-year-old has been beaten only once in five career outings and was a nine-length winner on her hurdling bow at Sedgefield a fortnight ago. She can score again.
David Pipe and Tom Scudamore can lift the Happy 10th Birthday Racing UK Novices' Chase with Broadway Buffalo.
A 135-rated hurdler and a winner at Haydock earlier in the month, he looks the type to make an impact over fences.
Also worth noting at Wetherby are Allanard (7.00), who ran a fine race in defeat at Kelso last time, and Barton Stacey (8.05), another Pipe raider, who had 11 lengths to spare at Stratford last time.
Sandown's high-class evening meeting on the Flat features North Yorkshire hope Top Notch Tonto, who contest the Group 3 Cantor Fitzgerald Brigadier Gerard Stakes.
Brian Ellison's gelding, who made massive strides last season, will have conditions in his favour as a mud-lover on the forecast heavy ground. He has run creditably here and at Newbury this season and, provided he copes with this step up to ten furlongs for the first time, which is likely, he can make a bold bid. He is awarded the nap vote.
York regulars may be keen on the chances of Tiger Cliff in the Cantor Fitzgerald Henry ll Stakes. Winner of the Ebor Handicap, he ran a fine race earlier this month when a close-up third to Gospel Choir in the Yorkshire Cup on Knavesmire. That level of form puts him in with sound claims here.
Course and distance winner Chain Of Events (6.10) and the speedy Cajoling (6.40), who won well at Windsor earlier this month, are two others to note.
6.00 Izzini, 6.30 Broadway Buffalo, 7.00 Bespoke Lady, 7.35 Allanard, 8.05 Barton Stacey, 8.35 Playhara, 9.05 Oscar Time.
6.10 Chain Of Events, 6.40 Cajoling, 7.15 Tiger Cliff, 7.50 Top Notch Tonto (NAP), 8.20 Patentar, 8.50 Abseil.
Today's other meetings
Bath, Haydock and Worcester.
Brighton, Catterick, Haydock, Newcastle, Newmarket and Stratford.