Cantlow to pounce at Taunton
Ashley Iveson says it will be disappointing if Cantlow can not deliver for the Paul Webber team on Monday at Taunton.
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KEMPTON: 1.25 Breakheart, 1.55 Easy Life, 2.30 NINGARA (NAP), 3.00 Beat The Bell, 3.30 Roberto Pegasus, 4.00 Sweet Liberta, 4.30 Belinsky.
TAUNTON: 1.10 Bladoun, 1.40 Franklin Roosevelt, 2.10 Orabora, 2.40 Cantlow, 3.10 Alwaystheoptimist, 3.40 Kellystown Lad, 4.10 Waywood Princess.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 2.20 Bang Tidy, 2.50 Bold Marc, 3.20 Spin A Wish, 3.50 Rosie's Lady, 4.20 Scribe, 4.50 Above The Stars, 5.20 Rapscallion Deep, 5.50 Dream About You.
DOUBLE: Ningara and Rosie's Lady.
All eyes will be on Cantlow in the Hippychick Novices' Chase at Taunton, and it would be disappointing if he did not deliver for the Paul Webber team.
The eight-year-old was so smart over hurdles - he finished third in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival - that owner JP McManus added him to his vast roster in October.
His three starts over fences have not been without incident, but his class saw him over the finishing line at Plumpton last month, even though he survived a couple of volatile leaps.
That form looks strong, too, as the runner-up, Oscara Dara, is likely to be quite a decent sort over fences.
Cantlow must defy a penalty in Somerset, but he is only going to improve with more experience.
Although unlikely to be a particularly appealing price here, Webber can give serious thought to the Cheltenham Festival if he does what is expected of him in this two-mile-three-furlong test.
Franklin Roosevelt should not be too far away, either, when he contests the Annual Membership Proves Great Value Beginners' Chase.
David Pipe's seven-year-old has been in fair form over hurdles this season, but always had the look of an embryonic chaser.
The prospect of drying ground will also do his chances no harm at all on his first stab over fences.
Waywood Princess, meanwhile, can add to her Wetherby gains in the Come Racing For A Tenner - 29th January Handicap Hurdle.
The John Groucott-trained eight-year-old impressed in Yorkshire with a staying-on defeat of Mini The Minx in a similar race to this.
Groucott's mare has gone up 8lb, but she still appears open to further improvement.
Ningara looked really smart when opening his account at Kempton last month and should follow up as he returns to the track for the four-runner 32Red.com Handicap.
Andrew Balding's colt ran a race full of promise when fifth on his racecourse debut at Lingfield in late November, finishing strongly from off the pace in a race dominated by those ridden more forcefully.
It was no surprise to see Ningara head the market for his second start over this course and distance and having travelled smoothly throughout, he showed a neat change of pace to put the race to bed inside the final furlong.
What the form equates to it is hard to know, but Ningara could do no more than win impressively and an opening handicap mark of 74 could yet prove lenient as half-sister I Love Me has been placed in Pattern company and has a three-figure rating.
Leading jumps trainer Alan King does well with the handful of horses he runs on the level and Roberto Pegasus looks sure to go close in the 32Red Handicap.
The seven-year-old won what was a fair Goodwood handicap for Pat Phelan back in June and subsequently moved to King for what connections hoped would be a prosperous campaign over hurdles.
Things have not exactly worked out as planned, as he has been well held on his two starts at Kempton and Taunton, although there is obviously scope for progress in that sphere.
In the meantime, he switches back to the Flat for his all-weather debut and certainly has the talent to get involved in the finish, despite the burden of top-weight.
The best bet at Wolverhampton is Rosie's Lady, who bolted up at the track on New Year's Day and is turned out quickly under a penalty for division one of the Get Free Bets With bookmakers.co.uk Handicap.
She struggled to make a significant impact on turf during the summer and was also well held on a couple of starts over hurdles, but appeared to relish the return to Polytrack when winning as she liked on her first start of the year.
The four-year-old is certainly open to more improvement than most of these rivals and this looks a superb opportunity for her to strike while the iron is hot.