It’s National day at Catterick today and the Twiston-Davies team from Gloucestershire is fancied to clinch the spoils.
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies saddles Jaunty Journey in the North Yorkshire Grand National over three miles and six furlongs and the ten-year-old looks sure to run a big race in the hands of his son Sam Twiston-Davies.
Jaunty Journey has finished in the frame in all his three outings this season. On his latest start, at Haydock, seven weeks ago, he failed by only half a length to get the better of the super-tough Monsieur Cadou.
Today’s race has attracted a competitive line-up, which includes recent winner Lively Baron, who represents Donald McCain, and the Peter Niven-trained Posh Bird, who won this £20,000 event 12 months ago.
But Jaunty Journey figures at the right end of the handicap and is selected to come out on top.
John Quinn has a very strong team of juvenile hurdlers this season and the Norton trainer can add to his tally of winners with Cockney Sparrow in the opening event.
A good second on very testing ground at Aintree on her jumping debut, Cockney Sparrow won by no fewer than 27 lengths at Doncaster last month. She will be very hard to beat under Dougie Costello in the yorkshire-outdoors.co.uk Fillies’ Juvenile Hurdle.
In the Follow Us On Twitter @CatterickRaces Novices’ Chase, Vintage Star can make it third time lucky over fences.
Sue Smith’s imposing-looking gelding, a decent hurdler last season, has finished second on both his starts over the major obstacles, at Carlisle and most recently at Doncaster. He takes a step up in trip here and is fancied to have the measure of the consistent Court In Session, the mount of Tony McCoy.
Brave Spartacus produced a fluent display of jumping to win on this course last week and it is no surprise to see Keith Reveley returning him under a penalty in the W.L. And Hector Christie Memorial Trophy Novices’ Handicap Chase.
Brave Spartacus has won on his last two visits to Catterick, but in between he suffered a final fence fall at Sedgefield when winning comfortably.
He is a horse who can occasionally make an almighty blunder, but his confidence is growing.
Tomorrow at Wolverhampton, Icy Quiet is napped to provide the red-hot David O’Meara with yet another winner.
The North Yorkshire trainer is already into double-figures on the Flat this year. Icy Quiet was made favourite to add his name to the roll of honour here last week but was narrowly beaten into third place. He is selected to step up under Danny Tudhope.
The David Nicholls-trained Hamoody (5.00) ran out a good winner on his track recently and the sprinter has every chance of following up under Martin Dwyer.
Norton trainer Ollie Pears has his horses in good form and Priors Gold, who ran well on his comeback outing on this course last month after a lengthy absence, deserves consideration dropped into claiming company. Stable apprentice Jake Butterfield, good value for his 7lb claim, takes the mount.
12.40 Cockney Sparrow, 1.10 Vintage Star, 1.45 King Mak, 2.15 Jaunty Journey, 2.45 Sea Lord, 3.15 Brave Spartacus, 3.45 Vinstar.
Today’s other meetings: Kempton, Lingfield and Wolverhampton.
4.00 Kai, 4.30 Ryedale Dancer, 5.00 Hamoody, 5.30 Stetson, 6.00 Priors Gold, 6.30 Renegotiate, 7.00 Camachoice 7.30 Icy Quiet (NAP).
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Huntington, Lingfield and Sedgefield.