Friday, February 1, 2013
SUPER DUTY IN ‘GRAND FORM’ AHEAD OF TOTEPOOL TOWTON NOVICES’ CHASE AT WETHERBY TOMORROW
A classy field of seven has been declared for the £30,500 Grade Two totepool Towton Novices’ Chase over three miles and furlong, the highlight on totepool Irish Day at Wetherby, tomorrow, Saturday, February 2.
The field is headed by the Jason Maguire-ridden Super Duty, who posted a gutsy 13-length success over an extended two and a half miles at Cheltenham in December, having filled the runners-up spot on his first two chase outings at Carlisle and Haydock.
The seven-year-old had high-class form over hurdles, chasing home Simonsig in the Grade Two Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree in April.
Trainer Donald McCain said: “Super Duty is in grand form at the moment and I am very happy with him.
“I always thought he would make a better chaser and the totepool Towton Novices’ Chase looks the obvious race to go for before we decide what we are doing at Cheltenham.
“He is a better horse on better ground but he has been winning on soft ground so it shouldn’t stop him unduly.”
Local handler Sue Smith, who was the leading trainer at Wetherby last season, will be represented by progressive seven-year-old Fill The Power. The gelding runs in the same colours as Wetherby specialist Mister McGoldrick did and, after scoring on his chase debut at Sedgefield in May, he hasn’t finished out of the first three in four subsequent starts.
Sue’s husband Harvey said: “Fill The Power is in good form and we are hoping there is more to come from him because he is progressing well. He ran a good race last time and will see out the trip all right.”
Goulanes, trained by David Pipe and partnered by Tom Scudamore, will be having his first start over fences after a brief but successful career of hurdles. A point-to-point winner in Ireland, the seven-year-old triumphed on his hurdling debut at Newbury in March before a courageous neck success in a Listed handicap hurdle at Cheltenham in November.
The strong line-up for the totepool Towton Novices’ Chase also includes Restless Harry, who enjoyed his finest hour at Wetherby when winning the Grade Two John Smith’s Hurdle by 20 lengths in October, 2011, and the Venetia Williams-trained Houblon Des Obeaux (first preference 2.25pm Sandown).
The Tim Easterby-trained Fourjacks, a winner on his chase debut for his owner Trevor Hemmings at Wetherby on January 12, and recent Kelso winner Fentara, also trained in Yorkshire but by Tim Walford, complete the field.
Totepool Irish Day also features the £18,000 Play totescoop6 At totepool.com Handicap Chase (3.55pm, 11 runners), while some of the useful hunter chasers will also be on show in the prestigious Wilmot-Smith Memorial Cup (1.35pm, seven runners), one of the first significant hunter chases of the season.
Gates open at 10.30am with the action getting underway at 1.00pm.
The Irish-themed marquee in the Paddock Enclosure is open to all racegoers and features the Ceilidh House Band and dancers. Advanced bookings for the 'Irish Experience' can be made right up to the meeting. For £22 this includes Paddock Enclosure admission, voucher for the full-colour racecard, a pint of Guinness, a beef & Guinness meal and a discounted tote betting voucher.
The going at Wetherby remains: Soft (Heavy in places)
Clerk of the Course Jonjo Sanderson said: "We had three millimetres of rain overnight, along with a couple of further sharp showers on Friday morning, which have put down another half a millimetre.
“The strong winds over the last couple of days will have made the ground a little tacky, so if anything the rain might just help the horses get through the ground a little better. Saturday’s forecast is for a dry and sunny day, which would make a refreshing change!
“The declarations we’ve received this morning are extremely pleasing and everyone is looking forward to a good, competitive, day’s racing.”