Carlisle are optimistic of beating the elements for today’s competitive jumps card and the meeting begins with a 2m handicap chase featuring a number of inform horses.
Pamak D’Airy did us a favour when scoring at Sedgefield last time and is only 5lbs higher, Cooldine Run has been raised 9lbs for a fluent Southwell victory last month but the vote goes to Edmund (1.20) a recent Newcastle scorer who was still going well when coming down on a return visit to Gosforth Park last time.
Blueside Boy (2.20) would appreciate better ground but he has shown enough since joining the yard of Lucinda Russell to suggest he was up to winning a modest handicap chase and he looks to have been found an excellent opportunity in the three-mile chase.
The maiden Farm Pixie has threatened to win a race but might have to settle for second behind the selection a point winner in his native Ireland who returned from a 12 month break to finish an excellent third over hurdles last month at Kelso. He makes his chase debut from a lowly mark and would have been something to bet on had this been decent ground; as it is he can only be a tentative selection.
Next Hight (4.00) is 11lb higher than when sluicing up (16 lengths) at Sedgefield last month on heavy ground and the handicapper may not yet have his measure for the Sue Smith yard who have had such a magnificent season.
The selection was originally trained in Germany on the level and cost E100,000 when sold as a yearling. He has never hit the heights once expected of him but has slowly developed over timber for his current yard and can go in again.
Mortimers Cross is almost old enough to vote but this teenager can roll back the years dropping back in trip in the finale.
His last success was over 4m but he didn’t appear to get home in the Sussex National last time and the handicapper has given him a chance. The same can certainly be said of likely favourite Baltic Pathfinder who is only 5lbs higher for scoring by 20 lengths at Sedgefield last time; the suggestion is he may be best going left-handed and might go off too short in the market.
Ludlow stages a cracking Novice Chase and Edmund Kean (2.10) can follow up his Leicester win for david Pipe having shown a natural aptitude for the larger obstacles on his belated seasonal reappearance.
The Romford Pele is the obvious danger but I’m not convinced this tight right-handed track will suit, despite winning at Taunton over hurdles, and Wilton Milan is taken to follow the selection home.
The following handicap chase is a cracker with seven to post and all having realistic chances; I am surprised to see the handicapper has dropped Forest Walker (2.40) a couple of pounds for his latest Wincanton effort when runner up to a back-to-form Bennys Mist who has subsequently franked the form.
Dan Skelton’s runners have been hitting the bar of late but the rookie trainer can return to the winners’ enclosure at the expense of the progressive Buywise who is on a hat-trick but 11bs higher than when scoring at Taunton on his latest start.
The Hunter Chase looks one of the best seen in Britain this winter and Foundry Square (4.20) can follow up his recent Newbury success and take this en route to a crack at the Foxhunters’ at Cheltenham next month.
At Lingfield no surprise to see Joe Doyle benched after his latest ride on The Blue Dog (3.40), Robert Tart takes over this afternoon, and the mare is taken to reverse recent Wolverhampton running with likely favourite Doldrums in a hot midweek heat. The selection is in the form of her life and is easily forgiven her last run when she narrowly avoided serious injury.
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