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Malcolm Jefferson’s newcomer Oscar Rock is tipped to thrill at Wetherby
Oscar Rock, an exciting new addition to Malcolm Jefferson’s North Yorkshire stable, makes his eagerly awaited debut over hurdles at Wetherby this afternoon.
Previously trained by Harry Fry, Oscar Rock twice won bumpers at Newbury last season, including a Listed event in which he drew clear of some smart rivals.
The gelding has schooled well over hurdles for Jefferson, who is keenly looking forward to getting cracking with this smart performer.
Oscar Rock runs in the opening Watch Racing UK On Sky 432 Novices’ Hurdle. Brian Hughes will be in the hot seat.
The bet365 Handicap Chase, a Listed event, is the feature race on day one of Wetherby’s weekend meeting.
The vote goes to Cantlow, owned by JP McManus and the mount of Barry Geraghty.
Trained by Paul Webber, the eight-year-old looked a decent prospect in the making last season when he won at Plumpton and Taunton. There should be more to come from him this term and, although his fitness has to be taken on trust on his comeback, he is a horse not to be underestimated.
Geraghty also has a good mount aboard Royal Irish Hussar in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Wensleydale Hurdle, another Listed race, but Nicky Henderson’s charge will probably need to step up on his Market Rasen win, when he jumped sketchily, and the vote goes to Keltus, trained by Paul Nicholls.
The three-year-old won well at Chepstow three weeks ago and may have more to offer.
Charlie Longsdon has his horses in rude health and the trainer has good prospects of completing a handicap double with a brace of top weights.
Tidal Way lines up in the bet365.com Handicap Hurdle and should go well after his decisive Bangor win, despite having been hiked up 9lb in the ratings.
Orange Nassau can complete the Longsdon double in the bet365.com Handicap Chase.
The seven-year-old won by 12 lengths at Newton Abbot three weeks ago and looks an exciting stayer.
At Newmarket, Charles Molson is napped to win the Express Cafes Conditions Stakes.
Trained by Henry Candy, the lightly-raced juvenile came good at the third time of asking at Bath recently when winning readily by three and a half lengths. This is a toughter task, but Charles Molson can come up trumps again.
Tim Easterby tends not to send horses to HQ without a fighting chance and King Of The Celts represents the Great Habton trainer in the Thai Street Cafe & Crown Rooms Newmarket Handicap.
Confined to only two outings this season, King Of The Celts shaped well at Beverley last time, finishing fifth and beaten by only two lengths. He should go well with the in-form Paul Hanagan booked for the ride.
The promising Idder (1.00) and the speedy Fig Roll (2.00) are also worth noting.
12.40 Oscar Rock, 1.10 Rally, 1.40 Tidal Way, 2.10 Cantlow, 2.45 Keltus, 3.20 Orange Nassau, 3.55 Cleve Cottage.
12.30 Loving Home, 1.00 Idder, 1.30 King Of The Celts, 2.00 Fig Roll, 2.30 Charles Molson (NAP), 3.05 Tweed, 3.40 Secret Edge, 4.15 Kalk Bay.
Today’s other meetings: Uttoxeter and Wolverhampton.
Tomorrow’s meetings: Ascot, Ayr, Newmarket and Wetherby.
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