JCB Triumph Hurdle favourite Sir Erec has his form tested at an unlikely venue on Tuesday. David Ord has the details.
Erec form tested in opener
Sir Erec catapulted himself to the head of the JCB Triumph Hurdle market with a stylish win in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday – and as strange as it sounds his form could be boosted at Market Rasen on Tuesday.
For that’s where Noel Kelly sends Bachelor for his first race since a final flight departure at Leopardstown over Christmas when he was set to finish third behind the rising Joseph O’Brien star and Tiger Tap Tap.
The problem is he’s walked into a warm old heat.
Nicky Henderson runs Lisheen Castle. A 50,000 guineas recruit from the Flat, he made a very taking start to his new career when winning at Wetherby last month.
He made a bad mistake at the fifth at the West Yorkshire track but showed a smart turn of foot to draw clear once given the office and looks an interesting project for his team. There’s more to come and while he has a six-pound penalty to contend with, it might not stop him.
Faldo represents Ian Williams and shaped very well when second to Laskadine at Warwick on his hurdling bow. Praeceps cost 58,000 from Sir Mark Prescott’s yard, a breeding ground for many a good hurdler over the years, and found only the experienced Song For Someone too good at Newbury on his only start over timber to date.
Muratello out to confirm promise
There’s plenty of substance to the Sherwoods Marquees EBF 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle too with Muratello out to underline the promise he displayed at Haydock last time.
It was a bold call to pitch him into the Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle on what was his British debut (his first run came at the same track in a void race).
However he didn’t look out of place in the Grade Two contest, travelling with great purpose through it and on the bridle jumping the second last. He couldn’t muster up a telling challenge to Mister Fisher and Bright Future – and no shame in that given their previous form and spring aspirations – but he kept on nicely to the line.
He steps up to two-and-a-half miles here and providing he stays, will be very hard to beat.
But there’s depth. Clarendon Street, a stablemate of Mister Fisher and Lisheen Castle, was very impressive on his last start at Wetherby and is greatly respected while Senior Citizen was progressing along the right lines for Alan King before coming unstuck in a muddling affair at Doncaster.
He has more to offer but there was an awful lot to like about Muratello’s run at Haydock and he is taken to underline that potential.
Rey Newcastle love affair to continue?
Ben Haslam has his team in a rich vein of form at the moment with six of the last 11 runners to leave his Middleham yard return home as winners.
Rey Loopy has contributed two victories to the total and a third is a distinct possibility in the sunracing.co.uk Handicap.
He loves racing at Gosforth Park, winning twice and finishing runner-up on his last four starts here. He’s only a pound higher for his last win and with the yard in such good nick, could early spark more celebrations under the Tuesday night lights.