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The Bet Victor racing column
9:00am Monday 24th February 2014 in Sport
PAUL Nicholls’ Irving was an impressive winner of the Dovecote Hurdle at Kempton, a performance that has seen the 5-y-o jump to the head of the betting for the Supreme Novices Hurdle with BetVictor and now the 3/1 joint-favourite with Willie Mullins’ Vautour – Non Runner Free Bet.
The two-mile handicap hurdle at Musselburgh looks a perfect opportunity for Philip Kirby’s Pass Munster (3.20) to get his head in front, in terrific heart since returning from a summer break and yet to finish out of the frame in his four subsequent starts.
The course and distance winner upset Nicky Henderson’s Dawalan in a jumpers bumper at Kempton 10 days ago, getting up to collar the favourite on the line and win by a nostril. Prior to that the 7-y-o was second in decent handicaps here and at Exeter and he remains well treated, despite a 5lb rise at the weights.
Swingbridge (3.50) is a horse that was always going to make a three mile chaser in time and the stoutly bred son of Milan is fancied now stepped up over the larger obstacles after improving with every run over hurdles last season.
He remains with plenty of potential and looks open to plenty of further improvement, especially now handicap chasing from a mark of 106 and could well prove an ‘Aintree horse’ yet for owner Trevor Hemmings.
Donald McCain’s string are in less than stellar order at the minute, just two winners from the stables’ last 34 runners and as such his Katachenko is swerved in the opener for John Ferguson’s Shubaat (1.50).
The 7-y-o was classy on the flat for Michael Jarvis and was having his first run for 18 months when pulled up on his hurdling debut at Huntingdon.
He will be better suited to Musselburgh with his best form going right-handed and was a game winner at the track on the flat. He is taken to break his hurdling duck at the second attempt.
Plumpton sees Baby Shine and She Ranks Me in a match for the two and a half miles Mares’ Novices’ Chase with preference for Lucy Wadham’s 8-y-o despite conceding 12lb to Donald McCain’s mare.
Baby Shine (2.35) was far from disgraced when tiring late on in the Reynoldstown behind O’Faolins Boy, Many Clouds et al but prior to that impressed when spanking Definite Memories and Miss Milbourne in a similar contest at Newbury.
Lawney Hills’ string have been in good order this term and the trainer had a welcome winner at Kempton last week, which should bode well for Torran Sound (4.10) in the extended three miles handicap hurdle.
He made a pleasing enough return last time out at Fakenham to suggest there was plenty left to work with, travelling well before folding tamely on his first start after an absence of over 100 days.
Jamie Spencer is a jockey enjoying plenty of success and he can return English Summer (4.00) to winning ways at Wolverhampton.
Spencer has teamed up with the 7-y-o twice and has yielded a first and a second and the previous course and distance scorer can take advantage of a tumbling mark in the mile and a half handicap.
Tom Queally will be seeking to make amends on Coillte Cailin (5.30) after giving the 4-y-o a less than stellar ride in a Wolverhampton maiden last week.
He returns over course and distance seeking to shed the maiden tag at the 6th attempt and should make amends although Mark Johnston’s Mount Glenn is respected, having just his third start and running well here last time out.
For all the latest odds go to BetVictor.com