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Lancashire Telegraph racing column
7:00am Wednesday 1st January 2014 in Sport
Bedloe’s Island can make it a course-and-distance double in the Compare Bookmakers At bookmakers.co.uk Handicap at Southwell.
The Fibresand surface is very much an acquired taste for some horses and Bedloe’s Island showed he is effective at the Nottinghamshire venue when winning by head from the reopposing Equitania.
That was his first start for Alan McCabe having previously been trained by David O’Meara and it was also his first outing since finishing down the field in a competitive Curragh event back in July.
Bedloe’s Island was a 33-1 shot that day but he is unlikely to be available at such generous odds this time given that he has been put up just 3lb for that win and is 3lb better off with Equitania, despite seeing off that rival.
Magika has yet to run at Southwell but if she can convert her Polytrack ability to a different surface, she could be hard to beat in the Coral App Download From The App Store Handicap.
She was a winner at Windsor back in October before Marco Botti sent her to Wolverhampton where she impressed in winning a nice event by a length and a half.
Magika looked capable of even better on that occasion and can make it a hat-trick here.
Taquin Du Seuil found the switch to Grade One company a step too far last time but should be back in the winner’s enclosure after the Cheltenham Pony Club Raceday Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.
Winner of the Challow Hurdle last season, he made an excellent start to his fencing career with a win at Ffos Las before winning a trappy little event at this track in November.
He held off Oscar Whisky that day, despite conceding weight, and that performance was enough to inspire connections to drop back to two miles for the Henry VIII Chase at Sandown.
Taquin Du Seuil had to settle for third behind a couple of true two-milers on that occasion, but he ultimately was not beaten far and should fare much better back over a longer trip here.
Flementime gets a handy pull in the weights for the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle and can make full use of that advantage.
Winner of a Plumpton bumper last January, she was hardly disgraced when finishing sixth in the Listed mares’ bumper at the Grand National meeting in April.
Trainer Martin Keighley then switched her sights to hurdles this term and there was much to like about her initial second at Uttoxeter earlier this month, being beaten only by Legacy Gold, who boasts some excellent previous form.
Beaten four and a half lengths by an odds-on shot, she overcame an early scare to stay on for minor honours at the death and that outing should have sharpened her up nicely for this assignment.
Bradley could also go well at a decent price in the Foundation Developments Ltd Handicap Chase.
Fergal O’Brien’s chestnut has been a little wayward for quite a while now, but he usually reserves his best form for Cheltenham and is not too badly treated these days.
Former Royal Ascot winner Fennell Bay is worth watching as he makes his National Hunt bow in the Fakenham Racecourse Annual Members Maiden Hurdle at the Norfolk track, while Ballybriggan can shine in Catterick’s Watch On 3 Devices racinguk.com/anywhere Handicap Chase.
Thorpe made an eyecatching debut over timber at Musselburgh in November and must go close back at the Scottish venue for the toteplacepot First Foot Juvenile Hurdle.
Pistol is hardly a straightforward animal, but he is not without ability ahead of the Royal Castle Hotel Beginners’ Chase at Exeter.
Philip Hobbs’ resident finished third on his fencing bow over course and distance in December and this does not look as good a race.
CATTERICK: 12.30 King Rolfe, 1.05 Bocamix, 1.40 Colonel Iain, 2.15 Prime Contender, 2.50 Ballybriggan, 3.25 Dream Flyer.
CHELTENHAM: 12.10 Flementide, 12.45 Bradley, 1.20 Taquin Du Seuil, 1.55 Return Spring, 2.30 Double Ross, 3.05 Annie Power, 3.40 Modus.
EXETER: 12.40 Steel City, 1.10 Smart Money, 1.45 Pistol, 2.20 Night Of Passion, 2.55 Benvolio, 3.30 Present To You, 4.00 Buckhorn Timothy.
FAIRYHOUSE: 12.10 Lieutenant Colonel, 12.40 Layla Joan, 1.15 Folsom Blue, 1.50 Thelobstercatcher, 2.25 Not For Burning, 3.00 Hop In, 3.35 Cillian’s Return.
FAKENHAM: 12.20 Stow, 12.55 Fennell Bay, 1.30 King Ozzy, 2.05 Wither Yenot, 2.40 Tony Dinozzo, 3.15 Mistral Reine.
MUSSELBURGH: 12.25 Thorpe, 1.00 Divers, 1.35 Mr Moonshine, 2.10 Runswick Royal, 2.45 The Magic Bishop, 3.20 Arctic Court.
SOUTHWELL: 12.15 Short Shrift, 12.50 Goal, 1.25 Magika, 2.00 BEDLOE’S ISLAND (NAP), 2.35 Moss Quito, 3.10 Exceeding Power, 3.45 General Tufto.
TRAMORE: 12.00 Enjoy Responsibly, 12.30 Billybuster, 1.05 Pay Your Way, 1.40 Kylecrue, 2.15 Marito, 2.50 Kandinski, 3.25 Kilmurry Kid.
DOUBLE: Bedloe’s Island and Flementide.
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