Rockiteer ran out the impressive winner of a Hunter Chase at Ludlow on his most recent outing and he can record a second victory at the venue in Thursday’s Hunter Chase. Although the ground may be a touch softer than the gelding would prefer Henry Daly’s charge will be suited by the step up in trip and has the highly capable Jane Williams in the saddle once more and should have too many guns for Pentiffic who makes a quick return having unseated early on at Aintree a week ago and Foundry Square who’s form has been in and our since scoring on his return to action at Newbury in January.
Warwickshire showed solid form in finishing third behind surprise winner Shales Rock and subsequent Hunter Chase winner Chosen Milan at Stratford on soft ground a month and Andrew Pennock’s gelding can take the Hunter Chase at Towcester on Thursday over just shy over two and a half miles. The son of Westerner has scored in a Restricted at Garthorpe since and appears to be in good heart.
He’s A Bully showed a fair amount of speed when dropped back to two and a half miles for his second pointing outing for Polly Gundry last month and he looks capable of playing a part in the bumper that concludes the Fontwell card this coming Friday. Prior to his victory the son of Westerner had unseated over three miles at Didmarton when still holding a decent chance and dropping back again in trip shouldn’t inconvenience him too much for a yard that has done well with its ex-pointers in recent seasons.
South Circle’s form on paper isn’t overly inspiring given she’s fallen on each of her three point starts thus far in her short career. That doesn’t tell the whole story for Liam Lennon’s daughter of Desert King given on her two most recent outings she’s held chances at the business end of the race under jockey Rachael Blackmore prior to falling. The daughter of Desert King has shown plenty of ability to be competitive in two successive maidens following an early fall on her debut at Kirkistown and she is worth noting in the Mares Maiden Hurdle at Wexford on Friday for a trainer who has had a winner from just seven starters at the venue.
Autumn Shades was the impressive winner of a Five Year Old Mares Maiden point at Askeaton two months ago and was the subject of strong market support prior to her late withdrawal for her intended bumper debut last week. She faced only seven rivals on soft to heavy ground at Askeaton but she looks capable of taking the concluding bumper at Wexford for trainer Mark Molloy.
Saint Charles is one of a handful of entries for Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson in the concluding bumper on Ayr’s Scottish National card. The son of Manduro had been very badly hampered at the second fence prior to making up eye-catching ground on his rivals in receipt of a handy twenty one pound weight allowance. Ultimately the then Tom Lacey-trained gelding unseated jockey Tom Weston at the final fence when held but he made amends when partnered by stable jockey Sam Drinkwater on good to firm ground at North Carlton in February. The four year old was subsequently sold expensively to JP McManus and he looks to have enough speed to take a bumper which his new trainer has a respectable record in in recent seasons.
The form of Final Pass’ victory at Lisronagh back in December is working out well with Change The Rules (third) and Native Pride (sixth) both registering victories since, in addition to My Lord Marty looking a possible winner at Bandon prior to unseating early last month. Final Pass, a son of Gamut could make his debut under rules for new trainer Donald McCain at Bangor on Saturday and looks likely to prove difficult to beat.
Double Mead could attempt to register her first Hunter Chase success of 2014 following a hat-trick in that sphere in 2013 in the Hunter Chase that concludes that previously mentioned Bangor card and Alex Dunn’s mare comes into this event on the back of two pointing wins at Marks Tey and most recently at Godstone. Those weren’t the strongest Ladies Open contest in fairness but the daughter of Double Trigger hardly came off the bridle to beat her rivals to take her pointing record to twelve wins in eighteen starts and she looks the most likely winner should she line up on Saturday.
The John And Nigel Thorne Memorial Cup takes place on Sunday at Stratford and could see the Robert Chanin-trained gelding Kirkleigh bid for a first Hunter Chase success of the season following a number of solid point placing’s. He looks likely to be one of the leading contenders here along with Little Legend who has already recorded a Hunter Chase success in 2014 at Warwick under owner/trainer/rider Cynthia Haydon. Catspan ran well when runner-up at Ffos Las while Chosen Milan registered an easy success at Newton Abbot on her most recent outing in points and with Evan David likely to take the ride she would be receiving nearly a stone from most of her rivals here.
Ruapehu looks fairly treated off a mark of ninety three for his handicap debut over fences at Wincanton on Sunday. The eight year old gelding scored on his first two outings between the flags in Ireland and added a further two successes to his tally in the UK prior to unseating at Cheltenham in a hot Hunter Chase won by Harbour Court back in May 2013. The son of Presenting has been racing over trips short of his best thus far this season but has been given a break and could step up to three miles for the first time if declared for a Novices Handicap Chase at Wincanton.
The Linnels Bridge Open Hunters’ Chase at Hexham on Monday has some of the leading Northern pointers engaged here with the likes of Moscow Menace, Ocarina and Special Portrait engaged. The last named has spent most of his career racing in Hunter Chases in recent seasons and comes here on the back of a second at Sedgefield last week. Current Exchange could travel up from the yard of Sheila Crow and he scored in a similar event to this when sent off favourite at Leicester a month ago. Of the remainder Moscow Menace again looks set to go well having finished runner-up in three Hunter Chases already this season for young trainer Katie Scott and though he was beaten just a length and a half last time out at Carlisle it was by big priced outsider Viking Rebel though this does look the seven year olds best chance of adding to his Buccleuch Cup success of 2013.
The other Hunter Chase taking place this coming Monday is at Tramore in Ireland. The Paurick O’Connor-trained Anseanachai Cliste would be an interesting runner here if travelling down from his trainers County Galway base. The six year old son of Bach finished third to Davy From Milan at Templenacarriga in January but was recording his third success of this season hen seeing off Oscar Barton in an Open event at Lismore early last month. The only one of these to score at this level this season is Easyondeye who registered his sole Hunter Chase success when landing a nice gamble for connections in a Maiden event at Downpatrick last month.