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Lancashire Telegraph Racing Column
7:00am Wednesday 2nd July 2014 in Sport
The rather pessimistically named Hard Core Debt can finally cash in at Catterick.Trainer Brian Ellison has been unable to get a win on the board with the four-year-old since his arrival from Ireland last summer, but that may change after the Yorkshire Welcomes Le Grand Depart Handicap.
The gelded son of Muhtathir was rated as highly as 86 in his homeland, but he has not yet replicated the kind of form which saw him easily claim a Sligo maiden last June.
There have, however, been increasingly positive signs that he is finally getting his act together for the North Yorkshire handler.
Hard Core Debt shaped reasonably well at Musselburgh on June 7, on ground that was probably softer than ideal, after which his effort over a mile at Redcar a few weeks later was another step up.
Despite breaking slowly - as is his wont - the Ellison horse did well to gain a foothold into the race before he grew a little weary late on.
Hard Core Debt was still only beaten three-quarters of a length Tanawar, which is no mean effort at that grade.
Ellison has opted to revert to seven furlongs for this engagement, which looks especially wise on the evidence of his last spin at Redcar.
And while this is allegedly a step up in class, there is surely nothing in the eight-runner field that will unduly worry connections.
Chepstow regular Belle Park has a good opportunity in which to enhance her strong figures at the Monmouthshire circuit when she runs in the bet365.com Handicap.
Now in training with Victor Dartnall, the seven-year-old mare made a grand start for her new handler with a comprehensive defeat of Urban Space over this mile-and-a-quarter trip on May 28.
Her recent Chepstow start was less profitable - she finished third as the 2-1 favourite - but her cause was not helped by a crawling pace from the outset.
Granted a faster gallop, allied to a more purposeful start, this versatile mare should be back in her element.
Logans Lad perhaps holds the key to the Bingo At bet365 Handicap.
The four-year-old gelding was a solid second over this six-furlong trip on June 13 when he finished with zest to get to within three-quarters of a length to Bajan Story.
Daniel Mark Loughnane’s inmate is still winless from eight tries, but the first-time blinkers clearly had a galvanising effect on the son of Baltic King on his most recent start.
It would be disappointing if he cannot consolidate upon that effort from just a 2lb higher mark.
Presto Volante can make a successful return to Kempton in the BetBright.com Handicap.
Amanda Perrett’s stayer won convincingly on his last outing on the Polytrack, when he surged seven lengths clear of Dark Ranger.
The gelded son of Oratorio has since acquitted himself well in a couple of Goodwood handicaps, but he looks more adept on an artificial surface.
Presto Volante is 7lb higher than when last victorious at Kempton, but that burden is often negligible in marathon races on the all-weather.
James Doyle has won three times in four starts aboard the six-year-old and is an informative jockey booking.
Ryton Runner looks poised to go well in the Monsterbet Handicap Hurdle at Perth.
Lucinda Russell’s six-year-old knows this terrain better than most and was not beaten far by talented Irish raider Hold Em Cowboy over this extended three-mile trip in May.
Flemenson should be followed in the Blazing Savills Handicap Hurdle at Worcester.
CATTERICK: 2.30 Jebediah Shine, 3.00 Tachophobia, 3.30 Patavium, 4.00 HARD CORE DEBT (NAP), 4.30 Hot Spice, 5.00 Betty Boo.
CHEPSTOW: 6.10 Town Crier, 6.40 Logans Lad, 7.10 Field Force, 7.40 Imperial Glance, 8.10 Solar View, 8.40 Innoko, 9.10 Belle Park.
FAIRYHOUSE: 6.00 Next Bend, 6.30 Cape Wolf, 7.00 Seas Of Wells, 7.30 Hatton Cross, 8.00 Royal Memory, 8.30 News At Six, 9.00 Port Merrion.
KEMPTON: 5.50 Ray Of Joy, 6.20 Honey Meadow, 6.50 Almerzem, 7.20 Desert Snow, 7.50 Panda Spirit, 8.20 Presto Volante, 8.50 Incendo, 9.20 Tenor.
PERTH: 2.10 Gabrial The Great, 2.40 Lady Fingers, 3.10 Ryton Runner, 3.40 Bow School, 4.10 Bless The Wings 4.40 Super Collider.
WORCESTER: 2.20 Green Bank, 2.50 Kayalar, 3.20 Ozzy Thomas, 3.50 Flemenson, 4.20 Full Throtle, 4.50 Lygon Legend, 5.20 Silent Knight, 5.55 Mr Maynard.
DOUBLE: Hard Core Debt and Presto Volante.