LIKEABLE colt GURKHA FRIEND has to be followed at Catterick today.

The four-year-old has always been well regarded by Northumberland trainer Karen McLintock and can illustrate the point in the Handicap.

Gurkha Friend has only won once in an eight-race career, but that victory was particularly noteworthy.

The son of Showcasing won a six-furlong conditions stakes at Leicester by half a length, which was no mean feat as runner-up Growl had previously finished second in the Mill Reef at Newbury.

It has hardly been a cakewalk to glory since then, but the proverbial green shoots of recovery were evident at Ayr last month.

Gurkha Friend finished third on only his second try over seven furlongs, but stamina was not an issue as he only went down by a length.

He also had to be switched wide for a run so that should also be taken into account.

Even so, the handicapper has fairly kept him on the same mark of 78 for what does not look quite as good a race.

Versatile in terms of ground, and with his prowess over seven furlongs now assured, this looks a lovely opportunity for a horse who is still pretty unexposed.

CLEM FANDANGO raised the odd eyebrow on her debut at Beverley and looks the one in the Catterick Badgeholders' Guest Evening Fillies' Novice Auction Stakes.

Keith Dalgleish's young filly was smashed to pieces in the betting before a five-furlong maiden on the Westwood and very nearly delivered.

The daughter of Elzaam looked extremely raw, but she improved with every stride and only succumbed by three-quarters of a length to a race-fit Seafront, who looks above average.

INDIAN TINKER is back on a decent mark and could surprise a few in the L&S Printing – Official Print Partner Handicap at Brighton.

Robert Cowell's seven-year-old has a fair record at the unique seaside track, despite having never won there, and shaped encouragingly for a long way on his seasonal bow at Redcar last month.

NEXT SENSATION has the quality to win the Heavitree Brewery Handicap Chase at Exeter.

Things have not gone to plan for Michael Scudamore's nine-year-old this spring, but he has been handicapped accordingly.

Though Next Sensation must still carry top weight, it barely needs mentioning that this looks immeasurably easier than the Grand Annual and the Silver Trophy at Cheltenham.

GUANCIALE did enough at Fontwell last month to suggest he can finally get off the mark over fences in the IJF House To House Bike Ride Handicap Chase at Fakenham.

VISION DE LA VIE had an off-day at Musselburgh on February 17, having previously won at the Scottish track a few weeks earlier, and can set the record straight in the Jennings Ford Handicap Chase at Sedgefield.


BALLINROBE: 5.35 Thirsty Work, 6.05 Aranhill Chief, 6.35 Edith Somerville, 7.05 Bye Bye O Bye, 7.35 Vercingetorix, 8.05 Follow The Swallow, 8.35 Miguel Angel.

BRIGHTON: 2.20 Assassinate, 2.50 Indian Tinker, 3.20 Ice Slice, 3.55 Tempuran, 4.25 Fitzwilliam, 4.55 Zephyros, 5.25 Royal Bajan.

CATTERICK: 5.55 Clem Fandango, 6.25 Chilworth Bells, 6.55 Musdam, 7.25 GURKHA FRIEND (NAP), 7.55 Madam Lilibet, 8.25 Elusivity.

EXETER: 5.45 Aston Cantlow, 6.15 Morning Herald, 6.45 Kie, 7.15 Next Sensation, 7.45 Peterbrown, 8.15 Misterton.

FAKENHAM: 2.00 Jonnie Skull, 2.30 Guanciale, 3.00 Hollow Bay, 3.30 Irish Thistle, 4.05 Bay To Go, 4.35 Bohernagore.

SEDGEFIELD: 2.10 Orchard Park, 2.40 Feast Of Fire, 3.10 Vision De La Vie, 3.40 Overtheedge, 4.15 My Friend George, 4.45 Beaumont's Party, 5.20 Discoverie.

DOUBLE: Gurkha Friend and Clem Fandango.