Gericault Roque is still improving
Gericault Roque is still improving

Timeform tips and analysis for Warwick and Wetherby on Saturday

Timeform reveal the ratings banker, the big improver and a 'Flag' of note at Warwick and Wetherby on Saturday.

The Ratings Banker

Morozov Cocktail - 15:23 Wetherby

MOROZOV COCKTAIL made little impact on his chasing debut here last month but he was a completely different proposition three weeks later, getting off the mark over course and distance.

Conditions at Wetherby on Boxing Day were extremely testing and Morozov Cocktail relished that emphasis on stamina, proving most determined under a positive ride to prevail by half a length.

That may have been a hard-fought success but the front pair pulled 20 lengths clear of the third, so a 6 lb rise in the weights could be lenient - Morozov Cocktail is at least 3 lb clear of his rivals on Timeform's weight-adjusted ratings here.

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The Big Improver

Gericault Roque - 15:00 Warwick

GERICAULT ROQUE is still looking for a first win over fences after three attempts, but he is progressing nicely and has simply been unlucky to bump into a couple of well-handicapped rivals the last twice.

Two and a half miles at Wetherby presented an inadequate test of stamina for Gericault Roque when he was third on his chasing debut, and he duly improved for the step up to three miles at Chepstow, where he again did his best work at the finish to get to within half a length of Pats Fancy, a subsequent winner off a 10 lb higher mark.

Gericault Roque also had to settle for second in the Mandarin Handicap Chase at Newbury last time, but it would be difficult to find fault with his performance as he jumped well, travelled smoothly and thoroughly saw out the three-and-a-quarter-mile trip, pulling 11 lengths clear of the third without quite being able to get to grips with the progressive four-year-old who prevailed.

The lightly-raced Gericault Roque is clearly going the right way and still has the 'small p', which denotes he is likely to improve, attached to his Timeform rating. He has improved his Timeform rating with each start over fences and this longer trip is unlikely to halt his progress.

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The Timeform Flag

Fransham - 14:12 Wetherby (Horses For Courses, Horse In Focus, Top-Rated)

Pam Sly has been operating at a remarkable 24% strike rate at Wetherby in the last five seasons - around double her rate elsewhere - and FRANSHAM has played a big part in contributing to that excellent record. He won four of his six starts over hurdles at Wetherby and got off the mark over fences here in November, impressing with his nimble jumping and the speed he showed to scoot clear of his two rivals.

He faced a much stiffer test over course and distance last month but was running well and looked sure to play a part in the finish before unseating his rider at the fourth-last. Fransham was moving like a well-handicapped horse, so he makes obvious appeal off the same mark at a course where he goes especially well.

Timeform symbols

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