DRAGONS WILL RISE IN SEARCH OF WIN NUMBER SEVEN.
We have four runners on Thursday, with two running on the Tapeta at Newcastle, where it is currently riding standard to slow, and the other two over the jumps at Catterick, where the going at the time of writing is soft, good to soft in places.
On the flat at Newcastle Walkonby attempts to get her season back on track. Her last two starts have both been over the jumps, where at Musselburgh 24 days ago she couldn't get competitive from a mark of 79, in first time handicap company. Prior to her return to the jumps she had been struggling on the flat to find the good form that had seen her win four times as a two and three year old. Her flat mark is now 19lb below her last winning mark, and she goes to post at 1.50.pm, in a 0-65 handicap over the extended one mile and four furlongs with Aiden Brookes in the saddle.
The prolific Dragons Will Rise who is the winner of six of his last 10 starts will face six opponents at 2.50.pm, in a 0-70 handicap over 10 furlongs with Robert Havlin who has won on him four times previously back in the saddle. Dragons Will Rise closed out his turf season with a win at Pontefract back in June, and then had a break before returning at Wolverhampton at the end of November where he finished a close up fourth from the same mark of 71 as now. That race will have helped with his fitness, and he should once again be competitive.
Over at Catterick The Very Thing has his fourth start over fences at 1.40.pm, in a 0-105 novices handicap chase over three miles and one furlong with Becky Smith taking the ride. The Very Thing is now a 22 race maiden, but has been placed on six occasions, with the pick of his form since joining us coming at Wetherby in March 2020, when finishing second from a 23lb higher mark than now, when racing over hurdles. His three runs over fences to date haven't seen him getting competitive, although he didn't help himself by running loose before the race at Catterick, when last seen 12 days ago.
At the age of 11 Perfect Man is struggling to find the form of his younger days, when winning seven races. He joined us in May of last year and ran respectfully at Cartmel on his stable debut, but in four starts since returning in November he has failed to show that old spark. He has been very versatile with trip and going in the past, so this three miles and one furlong should be no problem. The race is at 3.10.pm, a 0-120 handicap hurdle with Alain Cawley who has ridden twice previously, back in the saddle.
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Good luck to the connections, Cheltenham Trail & Cleeve Racing Club, The Golden Cuckoo, Derek Walpole, and The Rat Pack Racing Club.