Our arcing guru is hopeful this quartet of runners can help boost the Cheltenham Festival betting bank.
Kerry Lee is enjoying a terrific rookie season as a trainer and both her runners at Newcastle this afternoon are worth close consideration.
She has inherited NICHOLASCPERNICUS from Ed Walker and the seven-year-old is potentially well treated on a mark of 104 on his stable / handicap debut. The assessor has based that rating on three fairly modest runs over hurdles so far, with a fourth at Fakenham when last seen just over a year ago his best effort, but he is almost certainly capable of rating considerably higher.
You only have to look at his flat record for evidence. The winner of four of his 21 starts in that sphere and rated as high as 95 at his peak, he can boast some eye-catching placed form, most notably a close second to the group-class Pallasator at Haydock and a second of 18 in a valuable York handicap. Those are old form lines buy even so he has the potential to blow this modest race against nine mostly exposed rivals apart, providing he’s straight enough after over a year off.
The vast majority of Lee’s winners have come over fences but she struck with one one of her two bumper runners and EATON HILL could well double her tally. A nicely bred son of Yeats he wouldn’t have to be anything special to win the closing bumper on the card on his racecourse debut, though a market check is advised before going in as none of the runners have raced before and the betting should prove more informative than usual.
The in form Colin Tizzard could be in for a decent afternoon too as he holds several chances at Exeter. The best of his trio of runners looks to be SONNY THE ONE, who has showed progressive form of late including when winning at Taunton on his penultimate start (2m7f heavy) and who was tapped for toe by the winner The Brock Again when dropped back to 2m on his latest start. Still on a good mark, today’s longer trip can help him get back to winning ways with stable jockey Brendan Powell booked to do the steering.
Stablemate SARTORIAL ELEGANCE makes his handicap debut off what looks a fair mark, having had the requisite three runs over hurdles and shaping well to finish third on the latest of those at this track. Only five and lightly-raced, he has the scope to progress again and is the mount of a relatively experienced conditional in Paul O’Brien.