Our resident tipster has his eye on a trio of runners over jumps this afternoon.
Venetia Williams has hit form with a vengeance in the last few days and she could prove profitable to follow for the rest of November, a month in which she traditionally trains plenty of winners.
She had a stack of entries at the five-day stage for this afternoon’s jumps meetings at Market Rasen and Towcester, but these have been whittled down to one, EASTERN WITNESS, who contests the novices’ handicap chase at the latter track (due off 1.55pm).
The eight-year-old has yet to score in five chase starts but ran well in defeat on several occasions last season, and he should be up to winning a race of this nature off his current mark of 81. He started out over fences on a rating of 94, having been as high as 99 over hurdles, so the handicapper has given him every chance and he carries just 9st13lb here, when you take his rider Callum Whillans’ 3lb claim into account.
Admittedly, he may not be the most genuine of horses, as his record of 0-13 under Rules would suggest, and some of you may prefer to support him-each-way. However, this race won’t take much winning and he gets a whopping 34lb from the forecast favourite Gee Hi, who carries a 7lb penalty for winning a modest contest at Bangor last time. That horse is still greatly feared, but the stable form of the selection and the weight concession are compelling enough reasons to take him on at odds-on.
At Market Rasen now and Alan King looks to have found a good opportunity for his MIDNIGHT CATARIA to get off the mark over fences at her seventh attempt in the 3m handicap chase (2.15pm). A dual winner over hurdles, she has been largely disappointing over the bigger obstacles, but a soft palate operation over the summer has clearly done her some good as she ran her best race yet to finish second at Kempton 18 days ago.
That run, her first for over four months, will have blown any cobwebs away and she can go one better around this right-handed track, which according to her trainer is essential to her. The main danger looks to be Ready Token, who has been raised 9lb for winning a weak handicap here in October and the 8lb he has to give the selection can prove decisive.
Charlie Longsdon has his string in fine form and his NO NO MAC can give him another winner in the novices’ handicap chase run later on the card (2.45pm). A consistent sort over hurdles, winning thrice, including his last two starts at this track, he is making his chase debut here off what looks a very workable mark of 132 and with Richard Johnson booked. What’s more, the presence of John Ferguson’s Father Edward, who won a couple of races over timber during the summer but may not appreciate today’s softer ground, helps his price no end.