NORTH Yorkshire trainer Peter Niven, who saddled his biggest-ever winner at Kelso last Saturday when Clever Cookie won the Grade 2 Premier Hurdle, can continue his successful run in more lowly company this evening at Wolverhampton.
Niven, based at Barton-le-Street just outside Malton, saddles Pinotage in the Coral Mobile Handicap and James Sullivan’s mount is fancied to come good after finishing runner-up on this course on his last two starts.
Having chased home Singzak on his reappearance, Pinotage was unlucky to bump into such an in-form rival as Waving on his latest start and again had to settle for second place. He is fancied to go one better tonight, even though he faces a potent danger in Brian Ellison’s Grandiloquent, who escapes a penalty after scoring here last week in an apprentices’ race.
Waving, conqueror of Pinotage a fortnight ago, has since gone over to Ireland and won at Dundalk.
Tony Carroll’s gelding has won his last five starts and has proved a revelation since the turn of the year. How much further he can extend his winning sequence is anyone’s guess, but it has already raised his rating by some 24lb.
There may be one more win in him before the handicapper catches up with him and opportunity comes knocking in the 32Red Tomb Raider Slot Handicap.
The nap vote is awarded to Thorpe Bay in the opening Compare Bookmakers At bookmakers.co.uk Handicap.
Trained by Michael Appleby, whose stable remains in fantastic form, Thorpe Bay just failed to catch course specialist Sir Geoffrey at Southwell earlier in the week, This quick turn-out could bring handsome rewards.
Accomplished apprentice Ali Rawlinson takes the mount and his 7lb allowance increases confidence in Thorpe Bay’s chances.
Also worth noting at Dunstall Park are recent course winner Emerald Breeze (6.00) and the promising Puzzle Time (8.00).
The Grand Military Gold Cup is the feature at Sandown and Paul Nicholls, successful in this historic event 12 months ago with Merrion Square, can follow up with Polisky.
A good runner-up in a jumpers’ bumper at Kempton recently, the seven-year-old has some decent chasing form to his credit and is the highest-rated of the runners. Jodie Sole, rider of Merrion Square, has the mount.
There are two other races on the card likewise confined to amateur riders from the military and the-form Boston Blue (2.00), the mount of Lucy Gardner, and Ultra Klass (4.15), to be partnered by Alex Michael, are worth considering.
Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson, who have a pretty useful team heading to next week’s Cheltenham Festival – the jockey particularly likes his chances on Cheltenian and Fingal Bay – have good prospects of getting on the Sandown scoresheet with Mountain King in the SSAFA Forces And Families Novices’ Hurdle.
The five-year-old has more than more than 12st on his back, but he is on a roll at present, having won his last two starts. A hat-trick could well be on the cards.
2.00 Boston Blue, 2.30 Greywell Boy, 3.05 Polisky, 3.40 Waldorf Salad, 4.15 Ultra Klass, 4.50 Mountain King.
5.30 Thorpe Bay (NAP), 6.00 Emerald Breeze, 6.30 Waving, 7.00 Troy Boy, 7.30 Flying Power, 8.00 Puzzle Time, 8.30 Pinotage.
Today’s other meetings: Leicester and Ayr (inspection 7.30am).
Tomorrow’s meetings: Ayr, Chepstow, Sandown and Wolverhampton.