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Lancashire Telegraph racing column
7:48am Thursday 9th January 2014 in Sport
Chac Du Cadran is worth a squeak as he bids for back-to-back successes in the North Yorkshire Grand National Handicap Chase at Catterick.
Chris Bealby's charge was reasonably well fancied for the three-mile-six-furlong heat in 2012 and he justified that confidence with an eight-length beating of Desperate Dex, racing off a mark of 115.
Bealby then raised his sights for the Midlands National but racing off an 11lb higher mark, Chac Du Cadran found it tough going and eventually finished a distant sixth.
Given plenty of time to get over what were two tough races, Chac Du Cadran has failed to set the world alight this season, falling on his debut at Carlisle before being pulled up at Haydock last time.
Those lacklustre efforts have seen him fall back down the ratings to his current perch of 118 and while he is clearly not in as good a heart as this time last year, his revised mark certainly puts Chac Du Cadran into the equation.
He dealt with similarly testing ground last year and given he is certain to stay the marathon trip, Chac Du Cadran could reward further support.
Sealous Scout is the choice in the Go Racing At Wetherby This Saturday Novices' Hurdle.
He may not be a star performer for Donald McCain, but he is a hardy sort who very rarely disappoints.
Winner of one of his three bumper starts last year, the six-year-old failed to shine on his hurdles bow but stepped up significantly on that to finish second last time and further improvement is expected as he continues to learn his trade.
Alderbrook Lad was a winner at this track on New Year's Day and can repeat the trick in the WL And Hector Christie Memorial Trophy.
Big Baz can make a successful start in handicap company and claim his second win in as many starts at Wolverhampton.
William Muir's inmate is pitched into the Ladbrokes Handicap on a mark of 80 and despite having to carry top weight, his current rating could still prove a touch generous.
The four-year-old counts Group One winner Giofra amongst his half-siblings and while he is some way below that level, he looked a capable performer when making a very belated racecourse debut last month.
Already gelded, Big Baz has clearly been slow to come to hand and he showed signs of inexperience when missing the break and giving himself plenty to do on his first outing.
However, he responded in style and once Big Baz got rolling in the straight, the result never really looked in doubt.
While he may not have beaten too much that day, there could be little arguing with his near three-length verdict as he looked good value for the margin.
Bint Malyana is similarly unexposed as she tackles 32Red Handicap for trainer James Tate.
Well beaten on her turf debut, Bint Malyana shaped much better when switched to the all-weather surface for a maiden at this track in November.
The well-fancied favourite did not fire at all that day but Bint Malyana made significant strides to emerge a neck victor in what was probably only a very average heat.
However, she could do little more than win and looks one who can thrive over the next couple of months.
Ellaal had to settle for second at Wolverhampton last week but can go one place better in the Coral Mobile "Just Three Clicks To Bet" Handicap.
He is steadily climbing the ratings once again but is still some way below his career high of 85, leaving Ruth Carr with something to work with.
Dandarrell showed an affinity for Southwell's Fibresand surface when sluicing up by nine lengths on his most recent outing and can follow up in the Ladbrokes Handicap back at the Nottinghamshire venue.
The seven-year-old cleared appreciated the refitting of cheekpieces that day and sports the headgear once again here.
The handicapper has put him up 7lb for his recent win but that rise may not be enough to stop Julie Camacho's charge.
CATTERICK: 12.35 Red Four, 1.05 Sealous Scout, 1.35 Alderbrook Lad, 2.05 Dark Dune, 2.35 CHAC DU CADRAN (NAP), 3.05 Hit The Top, 3.35 Gone Forever.
SOUTHWELL: 12.50 Quality Art, 1.20 Twilight Angel, 1.50 Maakirr, 2.20 Dandarrell, 2.50 Persian Patriot, 3.20 Argent Touch, 3.50 Lesha.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 4.10 Seamster, 4.40 Big Baz, 5.10 Khajaaly, 5.40 Bint Malyana, 6.10 Honest Strike, 6.40 Ellaal, 7.10 Excellent News.
DOUBLE: Chac Du Cadran and Big Baz.
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