The Grade 1-winning partnership of John Quinn and Denis O’Regan can both figure among the winners at Catterick this afternoon – provided the North Yorkshire course survives an inspection this morning owing to the overnight threat of snow and frost.
Last Saturday at Newcastle, Quinn was thrilled to see the O’Regan-ridden Countrywide Flame win the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle and prove himself a championship contender.
The pair go in search of lesser targets at Catterick, but Quinn has good prospects with Moidore and O’Regan boasts a very good chance aboard Maison de Ville.
Moidore was a decent horse on the Flat, a triple-winner who boosted his rating into the 80s.
Unsurprisingly, he was sent off joint-favourite on his hurdling debut at Aintree, where he finished third, and an odds-on shot at Bangor last time when he finished second.
Although it is frustrating that Moidore has twice been denied, it is much too early to write him off and he is taken to make it third time lucky in the Bhest Racing To School Juvenile Hurdle. In the saddle will be Dougie Costello, Countrywide Flame’s regular rider, who must have been kicking himself on Saturday, having missed a big-race winner after electing to fulfil commitments at Newbury.
Maison de Ville has finished in the frame in both her starts for David O’Meara. Second at Perth on her debut, she has since finished a creditable third in stronger company at Aintree.
She looks capable of making her mark and the Go Racing At Wetherby This Saturday National Hunt Flat Race looks a good opportunity for her to carry O’Regan to victory.
Bingley trainer Sue Smith is another who will be hoping that Catterick receives the green light.
She has double prospects with Stagecoach Jasper (12.20), who shaped well to finish third at Uttoxeter on his reappearance, and Kent Street (2.50), who has taken a little while to get the hang of jumping fences, but who looks likely to benefit from today’s step up in trip.
Tom Eaves enjoyed a double at Wolverhampton on Monday and the Norton jockey has chances of a repeat at Kempton this evening.
He rides Dakota Canyon for Richard Fahey and this lightly-raced gelding, who finished fourth at Newmarket on his latest outing, is not to be overlooked in the Win Big With Betdaq Multiples Handicap, which presents him with a step up in distance.
His liking for the Polytrack can only be guessed as he has yet to race on an all-weather surface.
Eaves also rides Lady Kildare for Middleham trainer Jedd O’Keeffe in the Racing Plus – The Best Weekend Action Handicap.
Although she has not been seen since finishing fourth at Thirsk at the end of August, Lady Kildare, a three-time winner on turf, has dropped to an exceptionally lenient mark. Previously rated in the 70s, she is now down to 56, which makes her tempting as she tries to make it third time lucky on an artificial surface.
Reginald Claude appeals as the best bet on the Kempton card.
Trained by Mark Usher, the four-year-old won at Wolverhampton two starts back – landing something of a gamble in the process – and looked unlucky not to follow up on the same course last time when he was impeded by a loose horse and ridden by a very inexperienced apprentice. He can get back on top in the Book WHWF Tickets On 0844 579 3008 Handicap with useful 5lb claimer Lee Newnes taking the mount.
The promising Sherinn (4.20), back after a lengthy absence, and Avatar Star (5.20) are also worth noting at this twilight fixture.
12.20 Stagecoach Jasper, 12.50 Moidore, 1.20 Transact, 1.50 Reasonable Force, 2.20 Vinetta, 2.50 Kent Street, 3.20 Maison de Ville.
• Subject to 8am inspection
3.50 Dakota Canyon, 4.20 Sherinn, 4.50 Bull Bay, 5.20 Avatar Star, 5.50 Lady Kildare, 6.20 Fashion Flow, 6.50 Reginald Claude, 7.20 Katmai River.
Today’s other meetings: Hereford and Lingfield.
Tomorrow’s meetings: Leicester, Market Rasen and Wincanton.