2.20pm Catterick Tips & Betting Preview 28/02/2017

Seven go to post as the action at Catterick kicks off on Tuesday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: Cafe Au Lait is likely to be popular in the betting after his latest win a week ago today but despite being out of the handicap, HUGH’S SECRET is the most interesting horse in the race. Fifth to the aforementioned rival at Wetherby, he still ran a very solid race and only weakened late on. Lightly raced for Philip Kirby, if he is able to build on that run under capable 3lb Amy Waugh he’d have to have a brilliant chance of winning this. Conditions are to suit and he isn’t one to underestimate, so he is certainly the most intriguing runner today.

1 NAFAATH – Has been running consistently over hurdles of late and wasn’t disgraced under this rider when fourth at Newcastle in January (2m, Soft), and looks likely to pose a bigger threat now upped in trip. He has run well over this C&D in the past and is now back on his last winning mark, with today’s conditions to suit. Donald McCain’s eleven year old looks likely to run another good race and has to be respected as such.

2 PERTUIS – Winner at a very lower level on the flat in the summer at Ripon (1m 4f, Good) and his return is likely best ignored as he unshipped the rider at the start. Still a maiden after sixteen starts in this discipline and will need much more of a mark of 98 at this stage of his career if he’s to threaten for win purposes today. This eleven year old has place off this mark in the past but that was way back in 2012 and others make far more appeal today.

3 COUGAR KID – Eleven race maiden over timber and although he wasn’t disgraced when third at Hereford in January (2m 3f, Heavy), he was soundly beaten last time out at Towcester off a 3lb lower mark (2m 3f, Heavy). Dropped a further 4lb and this is certainly less competitive than that latest run, and he does have conditions to suit today which is interesting to note. Brodie Hampson takes the ride for John O’Shea and he certainly does have possibilities, so can’t be discounted today.

4 BONVILSTON BOY – Lightly raced six year old who got back on track when a good third at Taunton three weeks ago (2m 3f, Soft) when upped to this trip. Favourite was a rapid improver and he was only five lengths behind the second that day. Nevertheless, he has been lowered 3lb since then which gives him a chance and Tim Vaughan’s yard is in brilliant form at present, with a 22% strike rate from his last thirty-six runners. Conditions are to suit and if building upon that effort under 3lb claimer Jodie Hughes he’d have to be given a big chance of taking victory today.

5 CAFE AU LAIT – Gained his third hurdling win when staying on much the strongest to land the spoils at Wetherby a week ago, and remains on the same mark for today’s run. Going up in trip is unlikely to be an issue as he’s performed well at it in the past and if performing to the same level as his latest run he’d have to be considered a big danger today. He has performed well off the back of short breaks in the past and has to be respected under 3lb claimer Claire Hardwick.

6 TORERO – Eight year old with a record of one win from twenty-one over timber, but did post an effort somewhere near his best when third at Sedgefield in January, though still beaten quite a way (2m3f, Good to Soft). It does give him something to build off of though and he’s now below his only winning mark, which makes him interesting. Emma Todd takes off 3lb and with conditions to suit, he’s certainly a lively place contender today.

7 HUGH’S SECRET – Lightly raced under rules and although showing little in five runs for Philip Kirby, he posted a career best at Wetherby on his latest start when fifth to Cafe Au Lait last week (2m, Good to Soft). He wasn’t beaten far that day and does remain with scope for progress, especially with capable claimer Amy Waugh taking off 3lb. He does compete from outside the handicap but he is much better off with that aforementioned rival and if building upon that latest run he should be able to turn the tables today. Conditions are to suit and he isn’t one to underestimate, and is certainly the most intriguing runner today.

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