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Lancashire Telegraph Racing Column
7:00am Friday 21st March 2014 in Sport
Purcell made great strides last term and he can get his 2014 campaign off to a flying start with victory in the Ladbrokes Mobile Handicap at Lingfield.
The four-year-old improved a total of 15lb last term, being placed on numerous occasions, although he only actually got his head in front once.
That win came at Chester last August and two more outings before the end of year yielded more placed joy, with a third at Kempton supplemented by fourth in a competitive event at Ascot in October.
The winner that time, Consign, is reportedly heading for the Lincoln so some reasonable types finished in front and given Purcell bypassed a couple of engagements last year due to soft ground, the Polytrack surface presents no fears.
Palace Moon may be knocking on towards the veteran category but he should still be sharp enough in the Compare Bookmakers At bookmakers.co.uk Handicap The nine-year-old has tumbled down the ratings since his high point of 110 back in 2010 but he is nevertheless more than capable at the right level, as demonstrated by three placed finishes on his last three outings.
There were excuses for his third at Kempton last time as the race really was not run to suit, while he ran right up to form on the other two occasions.
He has paid for his consistency with a 4lb rise since December but given a strong pace, Palace Moon should be in the frame once again for William Knight.
Dangerous Age was saddled with a wide draw when third at Wolverhampton last month but should be able to take up a more suitable position in a smaller field in the Compare Bookmakers At bookmakers.co.uk Handicap back at Dunstall Park.
She finished well in being beaten just a length by Even Stevens and a 1lb rise will probably not be enough to stop her.
Sorry Saeed shaped well when third on her racecourse debut and can go on again in the 32Red Casino Maiden Fillies' Stakes.
Volnay De Thaix is the choice in the Carter Jonas Handicap Hurdle at Newbury.
Nicky Henderson drops his charge to handicap company after he was outclassed by Irving in a Grade Two event at Ascot back in December.
The five-year-old was stepped right up in class that day after winning two novice starts and punters clearly had plenty of confidence in him as he was sent off an odds-on favourite.
However, Volnay De Thaix was made to look a bit one-paced as Irving stretched six lengths clear, although he was hampered at the last and might have been a bit closer but for that interference.
Volnay De Thaix did not run a bad race that day and dipping into handicap company, he may prove too smart for his rivals despite being saddled with top weight.
Mic's Delight finished a creditable third behind subsequent Festival hero Present View on his most recent start and is the choice in the Pheasant Inn Handicap Chase.
Beaten 13 lengths at Kempton, he showed enough to suggest he still capable of winning a nice heat and the fact the handicapper has subsequently eased him by a 1lb makes him an attractive proposition.
Donald McCain can strike gold with Cloudy Joker in the Betfred Novices' Handicap Hurdle Race Final at Sedgefield.
He qualified for this race when finishing second at the track back in October but has since been campaigned over fences, winning three of his fours starts.
He struggled on soft ground when beaten into second on his last run and this better ground combined with a 5lb lower rating over hurdles marks him as one to follow.
DUNDALK: 6.15 Boughtforasong, 6.45 Bint Dandy, 7.15 Amazing Star, 7.45 Fix It, 8.15 Alvar, 8.45 Big Tony, 9.15 Landau.
LINGFIELD: 2.00 Jubilee Brig, 2.30 Katja, 3.00 The Firm, 3.35 Palace Moon, 4.10 PURCELL (NAP), 4.45 King's Request, 5.15 Guaracha.
NEWBURY: 2.10 Call Me Vic, 2.40 Mic's Delight, 3.10 Thomas Junior, 3.45 Dunlough Bay, 4.20 Volnay De Thaix, 4.55 Offshore Account, 5.25 Mission To Mars.
SEDGEFIELD: 1.50 Lebanna, 2.20 Dark Dune, 2.50 Ben Akram, 3.25 Cloudy Joker, 3.55 Snuker, 4.30 Polstar, 5.05 Palm Grey.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.35 Sorry Saeed, 6.05 Divea, 6.35 Emerald Breeze, 7.05 Hustle Bustle, 7.35 Dangerous Age, 8.05 Troy Boy, 8.35 Kindlelight Storm
DOUBLE: Purcell and Volnay De Thaix.
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