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Owner Jim McGrath hopeful that waiting game will be over
Patience is a pre-requisite for racehorse owners, as well-known Channel 4 television pundit Jim McGrath knows all too well.
McGrath has had horses for some 20 years, and has enjoyed considerable success.
Tomorrow at Beverley, The Fun Crusher is fancied to add his name to the roll of honour and reward McGrath’s patience, which has probably been tested to the limit by the lightly-raced gelding.
Twelve months ago, The Fun Crusher, having failed to see a racecourse as a juvenile, finally made a public appearance and duly scored at 33-1 on his debut at Thirsk. Alas, he subsequently met with a setback and was unable to race again last season for trainer Tim Easterby.
It’s been a long road back, but The Fun Crusher returned to the fray at Doncaster four weeks ago and ran an eye-catching race in his first handicap to finish fifth in a 16-runner field.
That outing should have helped to bring him to concert pitch and The Fun Crusher is selected to win tomorrow’s Remember John ‘Mother’ Hubbard Handicap – and prove to McGrath that he was well worth waiting for.
Thirsk trainer David Barron has an interesting filly on his hands in The Clan Macdonald, who makes her seasonal debut in the Racing UK Handicap.
A winner at Hamilton on her debut last season, The Clan Macdonald had just one more outing at Newmarket, where she tackled Listed company and finished a creditable seventh, beaten only four lengths by the smart winner Lily’s Angel.
The Clan Macdonald runs in her first handicap tomorrow off a mark of 85, and also steps up to an extended seven furlongs for the first time. She commands respect.
Paul Hanagan, who rides recent winner Fourth Of June for Ed Dunlop in The Clan Macdonald’s race, has been booked by his long-time boss Richard Fahey to renew his association with Warcrown in the Constant Security Maiden Stakes.
The three-year-old had a tall reputation last season and started favourite on both his outings, but both times, at Goodwood and Newcastle, he came up short.
Warcrown gets another chance tomorrow and is fancied to make it third time lucky.
The nap vote goes to Kodicil in the Rapid Lad Handicap.
Tim Walford’s charge won over this course and distance last May and handles cut in the ground. He was a little too free on his reappearance last month in an amateur riders’ race at Doncaster over 12 furlongs, but the return to this shorter distance should be ideal, as will the professional assistance of Graham Gibbons. He should go well.
Trainer James Given and jockey Paul Mulrennan teamed up with a winner at Pontefract earlier in the week and the duo can strike again at Beverley with First Bid (2.10), while Kevin Ryan’s Ardmay (5.25), a decisive winner here last week, can oblige again under a penalty.
At Brighton’s low-grade evening meeting tomorrow, Gary Moore could be the trainer to follow. He has double prospects with Finch Flyer (5.40), a previous course and distance winner, and Lightning Spirit (6.15). George Baker rides the pair.
2.10 First Bid, 2.40 Kodicil (NAP), 3.10 The Fun Crusher, 3.45 The Clan Macdonald, 4.20 Party Line, 4.55 Warcrown, 5.25 Ardmay.
4.35 Mayo Lad, 5.10 Must Be Me, 5.40 Finch Flyer, 6.15 Lightning Spirit, 6.50 Hereford Boy, 7.25 Flameoftheforest, 7.55 Katmai River.
Tomorrow’s other meetings
Uttoxeter and Wolverhampton.
Catterick, Epsom, Hereford, Kempton and Perth.