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Lancashire Telegraph racing column
7:00am Monday 30th December 2013 in Sport
Roger Varian’s Wandsworth is taken to complete the hat-trick in the feature Ladbrokes Handicap at Lingfield.
The gelded son of Authorized is clearly not the most precocious of youngsters as he failed to make the track as a juvenile and did not make his three-year-old debut until September.
Early results were not too inspiring as Wandsworth failed to make a significant impact on his first three starts at Wolverhampton, Chester and Windsor, but there has been significant improvement recently.
He got off the mark in some style when striking by seven lengths at Kempton at the end of November and he ultimately had no trouble defying a penalty on his handicap debut over this course and distance a little over three weeks ago.
A rise in the weights might not be enough to stop him striking again if he continues his current rate of progress.
Marble Statuette can make it third time lucky in the Coral Mobile “Just Three Clicks To Bet” Maiden Stakes.
Richard Fahey’s filly was beaten eight lengths into second by what looks a really smart colt in Bouclier on her racecourse introduction here a few weeks ago, coming home five lengths clear of the rest.
She was unsurprisingly a hot favourite to go one place better at Southwell last time and although she had to make do with the runner-up spot again, it was another sound effort as she pulled nine lengths ahead of the third home.
This step up to a mile and a quarter should enable her to raise her game enough to come out on top in a race that should not take much winning.
Baby Run ran a spectacular race in the Becher Chase at Aintree after a mammoth absence and would be a hugely popular winner of the Apollobet In-Play Betting Veterans’ Handicap Chase at Haydock.
At the ripe old age of 13 and making his first appearance since finishing third in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown two and a half years earlier, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained veteran produced a superb round of jumping over the famous Grand National fences and was only just edged out by Chance Du Roy in a pulsating finish.
If he can get in a similar rhythm over these conventional obstacles, he will take plenty of pegging back, assuming the dreaded ‘bounce’ factor does not play a role.
Valuable black type is up for grabs in the Season’s Greetings From totepool Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, the main attraction on a good card at Taunton.
Fancied to claim the Listed prize is Harry Fry’s Blue Buttons, who was a decent bumper horse in the spring and has carried on her upward curve since going jumping.
Admittedly things did not get off to a great start as she fell at the first flight on her hurdling bow at Exeter, but she performed creditably when third at Warwick on what was essentially her first start since May.
The run brought her on and she was quite impressive when making virtually every yard of the running back at Exeter last time, earning her a hurdle rating of 125.
She will probably have to raise her game again to win what is a much stronger contest, but that is certainly not inconceivable and she is capable of making her presence felt.
HAYDOCK: 12.20 Nicene Creed, 12.50 Baby Run, 1.20 Goohar, 1.55 Pete The Feat, 2.30 Howaboutnow, 3.05 Bobcatbilly, 3.35 Teochew.
LINGFIELD: 12.00 Aspirant, 12.30 Little Indian, 1.00 Marble Statuette, 1.30 WANDSWORTH (NAP), 2.05 Medam, 2.40 Sugar Hiccup, 3.15 Attain, 3.45 Reality Show.
TAUNTON: 12.40 Yes Daddy, 1.10 Milosam, 1.45 Dream Deal, 2.20 Blue Buttons, 2.55 No Secrets, 3.25 Hurricane Ivan, 3.55 Benny The Swinger.
DOUBLE: Marble Statuette and Wandsworth.
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