Lucy Alexander, out of action for more than a month with a broken collarbone, returns to action today at Newcastle and can make an immediate impression.
The country’s most successful female jumps jockey, Alexander has good prospects of completing a double on two horses she knows well, both trained by her father, Nick – Tipsy Dara and Little Glenshee.
Lucy has ridden Tipsy Dara to three wins in their last four outings together, the latest victory coming at Ayr last month.
It may be that this consistent and progressive mare has climbed a little too high in the weights, but she deserves attention in the freebets.com Handicap Chase.
Little Glenshee lines up in the Straightline Construction ‘Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, aiming to land her third win of the campaign.
She came home a long way clear at Kelso at the end of December and continues to look like an improver. She should give Alexander a good ride as she aims to become the first woman to win the conditional jockeys’ title.
Many Newcastle racegoers will be particularly keen to cast an eye over Broadway Buffalo, who runs in the CGC Events ‘National Hunt’ Maiden Hurdle.
Trained by David Pipe, the five-year-old has won both his starts in bumpers and now tackles hurdles for the first time in public.
He is plainly very well regarded, given that he holds entries in two Grade 1 races at next month’s Cheltenham Festival. He will need to win, and win convincingly, to justify making the journey to Prestbury Park for the Festival meeting.
Tadcaster trainer Lynn Siddall produced Prize Fighter to gain a 100-1 win at Wetherby last month. The veteran gelding will not start at anything like such fancy odds as he bids for a double in the swarlandselfstorage.co.uk Handicap Hurdle. It would not be the biggest surprise to see him oblige again.
At Wolverhampton tomorrow, two North Yorkshire trainers have excellent prospects of making their presence felt with recent winners.
Brian Ellison saddles Al Freej (7.20), a 25-1 winner at Lingfield four weeks ago on his first run for the Norton trainer since he bought her out of the Roger Varian yard, while David O’Meara bids to complete a hat-trick with Berlusca (9.20).
Al Freej is a lightly-raced individual, who is open to plenty of further improvement. She may well be able to follow up under apprentice Ryan Clark.
Danny Tudhope takes the mount on Berlusca, who rattled up two wins in a matter of three days early last month, soon after joining O’Meara’s Nawton yard.
He has since been hiked up to a mark of 71 (after winning the first of his races off a 10lb lower mark), but such is his current well-being that it would be folly to underestimate his chances.
Hayley Turner has a good chance aboard the aptly-named Empowermentofwomen (7.50), who has finished in the frame in all her three starts, while North Yorkshire jockey Michael O’Connell takes the mount on Pahente (8.50), who was a seven-length winner at Kempton on his latest start.
1.20 Royal Mile, 1.50 Dingo Bay, 2.25 Broadway Buffalo, 3.00 Tipsy Dara, 3.35 Little Glenshee, 4.10 Prince Tam, 4.40 Prize Fighter.
Today’s other meetings: Bangor, Kempton and Wolverhampton.
6.20 Flag Of Glory, 6.50 Hillbilly Boy, 7.20 Al Freej, 7.50 Empowermentofwomen, 8.20 Good Evans, 8.50 Pahente, 9.20 Berlusca.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Lingfield, Newbury, Uttoxeter and Warwick.