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The Bet Victor racing column
9:00am Wednesday 5th March 2014 in Sport
Today’s turf racing comes from Catterick and Gold Chain is entitled to come on for her Musselburgh debut when runner up to Akdam back in November.
The winner followed up in a modest handicap recently and Gold chain was a winner on the flat (soft ground) for Clive Cox back in September.
She receives 7lbs from Morning With Ivan (3.15) but the latter was a decent filly on the flat for Jim Bolger in Ireland and can follow up her recent Musselburgh success. She looks to be slowly getting the hand of things over timber and has found another moderate contest.
If you delve into the formbook far enough you will find that Dark And Dangerous (4.15) finished less than 3 lengths behind Sire De Grugy on his chase debut back in November 2012.
The pair have gone their separate ways in the subsequent sixteen months with Sire De Grugy now 2/1 favourite for the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase a week today and Dark And Dangerous reverting to hurdles this term. He won off a 10lb higher mark over timber last year and gets the nod in a very weak race.
Dual-winner Diligent returns from a near 700-day absence in a cracking Mares’ Bumper which closes the card and trainer Donald McCain has booked Nick Slatter to take off a valuable 7lbs. She is sure to be fit enough to do herself justice but inform Alan Swinbank has two in the race Georgian Friend and Molly Cat (5.15) and the latter gets the vote.
The selection beat Georgian Friend at Wetherby before going down by 2L to Nicky Henderson’s Clondaw Banker at Kempton in January. Daragh Bourke takes over this afternoon and I have been taken with this young conditional’s exploits this winter although he has yet to ride a Bumper winner from six rides. Let’s hope he bucks that trend today.
The flat all-weather action comes from Lingfield and Kempton with the latter staging a decent evening card with the action getting under way at 5.30. Gary Moore, who will saddle Sire De Grugy in the Champion Chase next week, has a couple of fancied runners on the night and son Ryan rides Dynamic Ranger who was a 66/1 shot when runner up at Lingfield back in January.
A repeat of that form gives him every chance but Bishop Of Ruscombe (6.00) is a confident selection despite having finished a beaten favourite in both starts over a mile to date. This step up in trip to 10f will suit and he is a confident selection of breaking his maiden tag at the third time of asking.
The highlight is an-ultra competitive valuable 10f handicap with a maximum field of 14 going to post. Luck is sure to play its part and, despite being 1lb out of the handicap, the each way nod goes to Epic Battle (6.30) representing the yard of William Haggas. The selection has only had eight career starts and is open to further improvement and was, arguably, unlucky at Wolverhampton last time over a trip just short of todays. He has a good draw in stall three and Liam Jones, who has ridden him for all of his three wins, takes over from Frankie Dettori who was in the plate last time.
Galiotto is likely to be all the rage for the two-mile handicap but Ogaritmo (7.30) showed enough when stepped up to this distance last time to suggest she could take a small race despite the fact that she is currently on a losing run of 17! She made a winning debut for Marco Botti just over two years ago at Wolverhampton and has been sliding down the weights for the last couple of years.
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