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Lancashire Telegraph racing column
10:36am Sunday 15th December 2013 in Sport
King Of The Wolds was perhaps slightly fortunate when winning at Fakenham but nonetheless remains an excellent candidate in the 32Red Novices' Limited Handicap Chase at Carlisle on Sunday.
Malcolm Jefferson's charge is two for two over fences, having really come into his own after leaving hurdling behind.
The six-year-old was no slouch in that division, either, winning one of his five starts, but he always looked likely to be better over fences and so it proved as he made a victorious bow at Sedgefield in October, hanging on despite clearly being in need of the run.
His Fakenham assignment looked much tougher on paper, with the well-regarded Dursey Sound lining up in what was essentially a head-to-head.
And so it proved as the pair were well clear and battling it out until Dursey Sound blundered through the last and unshipped Tony McCoy.
The handicapper has not got too carried away with that effort, boosting his mark by just 2lb but King Of The Wolds still appears to be learning his craft, so it is reasonable to conclude there is more improvement to come.
Lie Forrit has few secrets these days but after a spell in the wilderness, he can continue his rejuvenation in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle.
A thoroughly consistent type a few seasons ago, he failed to show the same kind of sparkle over fences in his most recent campaigns.
However, switched to the care of Lucinda Russell and returned to hurdles, Lie Forrit bounced back to winning form at Wetherby's Charlie Hall meeting back in October.
Tried over the brush hurdles at Haydock subsequently, he lost little in being beaten a couple of lengths by Gevrey Chambertin and is clearly back on the right track now.
A 5lb rise for the run is obviously not ideal but his mark of 143 still puts him some 12lb below his career best, so there is some wriggle room there still.
Red Sherlock can make a winning start over obstacles in the Betfred Goals Galore Maiden Hurdle at Southwell.
A product of the late David Johnson's favourite mare Lady Cricket, Red Sherlock is unbeaten in three starts to date, all in bumpers.
He impressed on debut but was made to work hard at Ascot last February and connections gave him time to mature a bit after that, leaving him off the track until last month.
He made a most encouraging return when winning a Listed bumper at Cheltenham, looking much more the finished article, and the fact David Pipe is heading straight over hurdles should be noted.
Midnight Belle can make it a course double and a hat-trick overall in the Collect totepool Bets In All Betfred Shops Mares' Handicap Hurdle.
A seven-length winner at Worcester in October, she made light of a 7lb penalty when following up at this venue last month.
She now has a further 5lb hike to contend with but looks eminently capable while in such good heart.
CARLISLE: 12.15 Howaboutnever, 12.45 Indian Voyage, 1.20 Lie Forrit, 1.55 KING OF THE WOLDS (NAP), 2.25 Oscars Den, 2.55 The Friary, 3.25 Stonebrook.
NAVAN: 12.05 Afootinthedoor, 12.35 All The Aces, 1.05 Briar Hill, 1.40 Colbert Station, 2.15 By Design, 2.45 Tinakellylad, 3.20 Royal Caviar.
SOUTHWELL: 12.25 Roc D'Apsis, 12.55 Overton Lad, 1.30 Red Sherlock, 2.05 Church Bray, 2.35 Midnight Belle, 3.05 Lac Sacre, 3.35 Airmen's Friend.
DOUBLE: King Of The Wolds and Red Sherlock.
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