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North Yorkshire trainers launch raid on Merseyside prizes
The journey across the M62 to Aintree tomorrow promises to be profitable for three North Yorkshire trainers.
John Quinn, Tom Tate and David O’Meara all have excellent prospects of getting on the scoresheet at the famous Merseyside venue, where racing also takes place this afternoon.
Quinn saddles Moidore in the Betfred Juvenile Hurdle and this triple-winner on the Flat looks the type to make a name for himself over timber.
A well-bred son of Galileo, Moidore ran well on the Flat at Hamilton last month and so should not be lacking in racing fitness.
Quinn has an admirable record with the horses he switched from Flat to hurdles and it would be no surprise if Moidore proves his latest success story. He is awarded the nap vote.
Tate saddles Eagle Rock in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) and James Reveley’s mount should go well off what looks a favourable mark.
A decent stayer on the Flat, and with his fitness assured, Eagle Rock, who did well over hurdles last season, is fancied to progress further in the months ahead. This race looks a good opportunity for him to get back in the groove over hurdles.
Nawton-based O’Meara saddles Maison de Ville in the matalan.co.uk National Hunt Flat Race.
The four-year-old is presumably well regarded. She was sent off favourite on her debut at Perth a month ago and finished second, showing enough ability and promise to suggest she can make her mark in this sphere.
Nicky Henderson is beginning to take the wraps off his power-packed string and the Lambourn trainer can get Aintree punters off to a good mark in the Matalan Handicap Hurdle with Joker Choker.
The seven-year-old has three hurdle wins and a chase success to his credit. He looks fairly treated in this two-and-a-half mile event and is not to be underestimated.
First Fandango, who looked a little unlucky not to make a winning debut over fences at Fontwell – he was beaten by half a length after blundering at the last – can gain compensation in the Betfred Beginners’ Chase, while Silver Roque, a five-length winner Bangor earlier this month, can cope with a rise in his rating in the Weatherbys Hamilton Bloodstock Insurance Handicap Chase.
At Wincanton, the feature race is the FJ Chalke Desert Orchid Handicap Chase, named after the best-loved chaser of recent memory. Paul Nicholls plainly has Minella Stars in good heart and the gelding may be the one to lift this £10,000 staying event.
Minella Stars, having finished runner-up in his three previous starts, was hardly winning out of turn when scoring Newton Abbot last time out.
He got home by only a whisker that day, but that was only because he idled on the run-in after being some six lengths clear at the final fence. Raised 4lb for that success, he is capable of scoring off his revised mark.
Sleeping City looks a horse with potential and it would come as no surprise to see Victor Dartnall’s lightly-raced five-year-old come good on his reappearance in the St Margaret’s Hospice Handicap Hurdle.
Also worth watching are the promising Ballylifen (2.30) and Might As Well (3.40), a proven course and distance winner.
1.10 Joker Choker, 1.40 Moidore (NAP), 2.15 First Fandango, 2.50 Eagle Rock, 3.25 Silver Roque, 4.00 Funny Star, 4.30 Maison de Ville.
12.50 Kayfrou, 1.20 Sleeping City, 1.55 Minella Stars, 2.30 Ballylifen, 3.05 Kahsabelle, 3.40 Might As Well, 4.15 Listen And Learn.
Today’s meetings: Aintree, Chepstow, Doncaster, Newbury, Stratford and Wolverhampton.