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Lancashire Telegraph racing column
7:00am Friday 6th December 2013 in Sport
The descent into claiming company at Wolverhampton should do it for Cantor.
Giles Bravery’s five-year-old has been a standing dish at Dunstall Park this year, where he has only once finished outside the first two in a total of five starts.
A course-and-distance scorer in October, Cantor carried on the good fight in a reasonable handicap here in mid-November.
Although he was no match for Dansili Dutch that day, Bravery will have been happy with the manner in which his charge plugged away against a well-handicap rival, who has since won again.
Much will depend on whether he takes to the first-time visor, but, in any case, he looks far sharper than many of these.
The gelded son of Iceman rightly holds a major chance in the Ladbrokes Classified Claiming Stakes.
Dansili Dutch runs earlier on the card in the Coral App Download From The App Store Apprentice Handicap, but her winning run is taken to come to end at the hands of Delightful Sleep.
David Evans’ five-year-old was comprehensively defeated by Dansili Dutch when the pair met in November, but he has gone unpunished for that decent third-placed finish.
This extra furlong, a distance at which he won so tidily here last month, is almost certain to bring about further progress.
Kung Hei Fat Choy appears to be coming to hand again and should make a impression in the Ladbrokes Handicap at Lingfield.
The four-year-old gelding, trained by James Given, turned in an encouraging display at Wolverhampton last month to suggest his time is near.
Kung Hei Fat Choy has been dropped another 2lb and is now 6lb lower than when he last struck gold at the start of the year.
The feature race on the Sandown card, the Grade Two Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, looks a shade trappy, but narrow preference is for Saint Roque.
Paul Nicholls’ seven-year-old is the most experienced horse in this line-up and is chasing an impressive fifth win on the spin this season.
Saint Roque has not really beaten a great deal during his hot streak, but there was plenty to admire about his strength of character in a tight Cheltenham novices’ hurdle last time, when he rallied strongly to keep Rum And Butter at bay by half a length.
Crucial to this one’s chances is the likelihood of good ground, which has no doubt been a key factor in why racegoers have seen so much of him this term.
In a race seemingly lacking a great deal of depth, he rates a safe option, as does Charlie Hall Chase winner Harry Topper, who returns to the fray in the Listed Future Stars Chase.
His narrow Wetherby victory cannot be downplayed, as the six-year-old did not jump too cleverly in Yorkshire but still had enough wherewithal to douse the challenge of a clutch of seasoned chasers.
Harry Topper is likely to strip a lot fitter on only his seventh start over fences, and while he could have perhaps done with a little more juice in the ground, Sandown’s galloping chase track should mesh nicely with his undoubted gifts.
Coole River was a smart performer in his younger days in Ireland and while serious injury has dented his powers somewhat, he finally returned to winning ways last time out.
Now in the care of in-form Emma Lavelle having started out with Jessica Harrington, the nine-year-old easily defied a mark of 123 at Taunton and the 5lb rise for the Coldunell Amateur Jockeys Association Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase (John Dunsdon Memorial Cup) seems fair.
At one stage the Harry Dutfield Memorial Novices’ Chase looked like being a cracker but it now looks at the mercy of Caid Du Berlais.
The likes of African Gold, Claret Cloak and Oscar Whisky were all entered but all pass up the option.
Nicholls’ Caid Du Berlais chased home Jezki at Down Royal early on this season and would be difficult to place in that sphere so now goes chasing.
Given a clear round he should take a world of beating.
DUNDALK: 6.15 Not Your Call, 6.45 Antiquus, 7.15 Times In Anatefka, 7.45 Fight U For It, 8.15 Lord Kenmare, 8.45 Rose Angel, 9.15 Carried.
EXETER: 12.25 Sylvan Legend, 12.55 Portway Flyer, 1.30 Caid Du Berlais, 2.05 Incentivise, 2.40 Foggy’s Wall, 3.15 Bally Legend, 3.45 Flamenco Lad.
LINGFIELD: 11.45 Gay Marriage, 12.15 Water Hole, 12.45 Electric Qatar, 1.20 Kung Hei Fat Choy, 1.55 Absent Amy, 2.30 Bouclier, 3.05 Novellen Lad, 3.35 Perfect Delight.
SANDOWN: 12.35 Sweet Deal, 1.10 Royal Guardsman, 1.45 Saint Roque, 2.20 Harry Topper, 2.55 Coole River, 3.25 Deia Sunrise.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 4.00 Delightful Sleep, 4.30 Akdam, 5.00 Frost Fire, 5.30 Better Value, 6.00 CANTOR (NAP), 6.30 Seven Lucky Seven, 7.00 Peace Seeker.
DOUBLE: Cantor and Harry Topper.
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