FOUR AT HEXHAM AND ONE TO DONCASTER ON SATURDAY.
The predicted going at Hexham on Saturday at the time of writing is good to soft, it is also good to soft at Doncaster, where they have already watered.
Our first runner is Harry Go in the two miles novices' hurdle at 6.25.pm with Harry Reed riding him for the first time. Harry Go is bred for the National Hunt game, and with just three runs under his belt, this is still very much early days. He showed that he has ability when finishing midfield in each of his two bumper runs, but took a backwards step at Hexham last time, when struggling from halfway on his hurdles debut. We won't see the best of him until he gets his handicap mark.
We run two in the three miles 0-120 handicap chase at 6.55.pm. The handicapper has finally relented with Justforjames whose mark is now falling fast, but of course there is a reason for that. He ran well on his seasonal debut from a 17lb higher mark at Catterick last November, but in three starts since he has failed to get competitive. At 12 years old he obviously isn't getting any faster, but a return to form would make him a very dangerously well handicapped horse, his regular partner Becky Smith will ride.
Grange Ranger also runs in the 6.55.pm. After a couple of below par efforts earlier in the season he came back to form when winning at Wetherby in February, and bettered that when finishing runner up at Carlisle on his latest start over two and a half miles. This step back up to three miles should be OK, judged on past efforts, Alain Cawley will take the ride.
Black Kettle is our representative in the 0-100 two and a half miles handicap chase at 7.55.pm, with Alain Cawley taking the ride. Black Kettle ran an eye catching seasonal debut when out of the weights in a higher grade at Wetherby in February, but he couldn't back that up at Hexham 44 days ago, at the track where he has finished second at on three previous occasions. He can now race from an all time low mark of 78.
Over at Doncaster the still progressive The Rutland Rebel takes on four opponents in the 0-85 Class 4 handicap over the extended two miles at 7.40.pm. He won twice on the All Weather at Wolverhampton in January, and February, but probably improved again back on turf at Pontefract 25 days ago when finishing second, with an eight lengths gap back to the third horse, for which the handicapper has raised him a further 3lb. The Rutland Rebel remains in fine form, and Billy Garritty is back on board.
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Good luck to the connections, J B Harrison, J4J Partnership, Oakwood Rainbow, Tasker-Brown & Partners, and Ryder Sugden.