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Lancashire Telegraph racing column
7:15am Monday 6th January 2014 in Sport
Following Taunton's abandonment, Southwell is set to fly the flag for National Hunt racing in Britain after passing a morning inspection.
Without doubt the most interesting runner on the card is Nicky Henderson's Earth Amber in the Download The totepool Mobile App Novices' Hurdle.
Formerly with Alain de Royer-Dupre on the level in France, she joined Henderson last spring and made a very promising debut in a Listed race at Nottingham when second in the Further Flight Stakes.
There was less to write home about in her next two outings in the Sagaro Stakes behind Estimate and then in the Cesarewitch but she will have been sent to Henderson with a jumping career in mind.
With obviously no worries about testing ground, the five-year-old mare should have too much class for her rivals.
Anthony Honeyball was disappointed that Lily Waugh was turned over at Fontwell after such a promising run previously at Cheltenham but she is given one more chance in the Collect totepool Winnings At Betfred Shops Mares' "National Hunt" Maiden Hurdle.
Stamina looked to be the issue at Fontwell and she will be much more at home back at two miles.
When second to The Govaness at Cheltenham she looked a decent prospect.
Thurles stage a decent card in Ireland, with Toner D'Oudairies the class act in the Listed Thurles Racecourse Supporters Club Chase.
Gordon Elliott's seven-year-old could be Bryan Cooper's first decent winner since landing the big job as Gigginstown's number one man but he has already won a decent prize on his mount at Punchestown.
Course and distance winner Berkeley Street can get on the scoresheet once more in the Coral Mobile "Just Three Clicks To Bet" Handicap at Wolverhampton.
Jane Chapple-Hyam's four-year-old shaped with genuine promise when runner-up in a Nottingham maiden on his only appearance as a juvenile, but failed to build on that as might have been expected on his first few starts of 2013.
Berkeley Street was unable to land telling blows in maidens at Leicester and Lingfield, or in handicap company at Haydock and Catterick, but there was a vast improvement on his first visit to Dunstall Park.
Fitted with cheekpieces for the first time, the son of Street Cry showed a willing attitude to get the better of Mojo Bear, so it was a little perplexing why he gave out so quickly when he returned to the track a couple of weeks later.
Any horse can be forgiven one bad run, however, and he fared much better when third in a visor at Southwell late last month.
Coming back in trip, he is given another chance to get it right, rated just two pounds higher than when successful at this venue a month ago.
Lapis Blue is an intriguing contender for wily trainer David Evans in the 32Red.com Fillies' Handicap.
The four-year-old was a product of the powerful Moyglare Stud Farm and did not fare too badly in three Irish starts for Dermot Weld last year.
An encouraging third behind the talented Wannabe Better at Naas in August was particularly decent in the context of this assignment.
She changed hands for 14,000 euros at Goffs in November and while her British debut at Lingfield was not all that inspiring, she should strip fitter and do better now she switches to handicap level off a mark of 67.
The Karl Burke-trained Jaeger Train rates banker material in the 32Red Maiden Stakes.
The son of Captain Rio was heavily backed into 5/4 favouritism on his debut over six furlongs here last month.
Although he ultimately came up short, he ran with plenty of credit to finish second behind the more experienced Three Pips, who had already had three runs and placed twice.
Jaeger Train will know more about his job this time and will be very hard to beat in what looks a weak contest.
SOUTHWELL: 12.25 Morestead, 12.55 What A Good Night, 1.25 Fountains Mary, 1.55 No No Mac, 2.30 Earth Amber, 3.00 Bold Tara, 3.30 Lily Waugh.
THURLES: 12.35 Idontdalaay, 1.10 Toner D'Oudairies, 1.40 Blissful Moment, 2.15 Urano, 2.45 Sterling Stuff, 3.15 Mini Budget, 3.45 Beluckyagain.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 2.10 Medam, 2.40 Matraash, 3.10 Berkeley Street, 3.40 Ice Tres, 4.10 Lapis Blue, 4.40 JAEGER TRAIN (NAP), 5.10 Blossom Lane.
DOUBLE: Berkeley Street and Jaeger Train
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