A good quality seven runner chase is the penultimate race of the day at Catterick on Monday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Rattling off a three timer before a fall stopped the run, there now has to be a suspicion that Nortonthorpelegend could struggle pitched into tougher company off a mark of 121, so this can go to I JUST KNOW. A progressive front runner for Sue Smith, this seven year old has been deadly consistent over fences and should be able to dominate this from the front with Danny Cook taking the ride. Going up slightly in trip should not be any issue and conditions are perfect, so an 11lb rise shouldn’t be enough to keep him from making it three from five over fences.
1 KATACHENKO – Capable chaser on his day, twice a winner in this discipline, including off this mark four starts ago at Aintree in April (2m, Good to Soft). He has however been poor in three runs this season, finishing fifth and well beaten on his latest start at Doncaster (2m 3f, Good) and connections are relying on going up in trip to salvage a poor run. He’s never been beyond the 2m 3f trip in the past, and his pedigree doesn’t give too much hope that he’ll stay this far. Others have much solid claims but Donald McCain’s yard are in fine form at present, as is Will Kennedy, so could have place claims if he stays this far. Though that is a big if.
2 SILVER TASSIE – Nought for nine since joining Micky Hammond’s yard, though he has gone close on multiple occasions. His third at Perth in April (2m 7f, Good) shows he is more than capable of a big run, with that coming off a 7lb higher mark than today’s. He was always going to struggle when pitched into Grade 3 company at Wetherby on Boxing Day (3m, Good), and will find this assignment much easier. Finian O’Toole takes off 5lb but others have more pressing claims and his overall record tells the story.
3 I JUST KNOW – Only rated 105 over timber but has taken brilliantly to chasing, winning twice from four runs over the larger obstacles for Sue Smith. He’s also finished second on two occasions and has been very consistent, going off favourite for every one of his runs so far. A front runner, he’s likely to get a soft lead once again and as shown when running the stream out of his opponents at Doncaster (2m 7f, Good to Soft), he’s dangerous when left alone to set the pace. He has to contend with an 11lb rise, but that is unlikely to peg him back and looks to be a tough one to beat with Danny Cook once again taking the ride.
4 HEDLEY LAMARR – Lightly raced seven year old who wasn’t disgraced on his third run over fences when fourth at Leicester in January (2m 6f, Good). That was his best effort so far which is encouraging but he is still yet to fully convince he stays this trip well, with his only attempt at three miles ending in a well held fourth at Bangor in December. He may well improve again for Jonjo O’Neill with only eight total runs under his belt though and has to be respected.
5 NORTONTHORPELEGEND – Completed the hat-trick when winning well at Ayr in January (3m, Soft) and was travelling reasonably well when coming down at the same venue two weeks later at fence number nine. Hard to know whether he would have won that day and we still lack evidence that he can cope with a mark of 121. In all likelihood he still has improvement left in him for Rebecca Menzies but is pitched into tougher company and he will need more if he’s to take this. Has to be considered a danger with his progressive profile and Brian Hughes taking the ride, so could be the one to chase the selection home.
6 JAC THE LEGEND – Runs well at this venue with a win and several places over fences here, though he has a lot to prove at present. Finishing a good third on seasonal reappearance at Sedgefield in October, he pulled up at Doncaster in December and was never cited when tailed off here in January (3m 5f, Good). Down in trip which may well help and Brian Ellison’s yard is going well at present, so isn’t totally dismissed. Does have something to prove though and others rate as much more solid propositions today.
7 PRESENTING JUNIOR – Now 9lb below his last winning mark so is clearly very dangerously handicapped but is becoming a declining force these days. Martin Todhunter’s ten year old has been well beaten on most of his runs this season and its hard to trust that he’ll be back to form today, especially with the ground this soft. Impossible to recommend despite his depleting mark.