Soft ground forecast at Market Rasen for today’s seven-race card which has been transferred from its normal Boxing Day home. Let’s hope the recent cold spell allows the meeting to go ahead.
Theflyingportrait has dropped to what looks a very favourable mark but he may need better ground to return to winning ways although this represents a significant drop in class. I like the booking of Lily Pinchin for the veteran but the each way vote goes to Zoutoise (1.15) who has shaped well in two starts over fences, although she was ultimately outclassed and well beaten in a listed race at Bangor-on-Dee last time.
The selection- 11/2 with William Hill – is trained by Tom George who has had a quiet Festive period although I felt a couple of the stable’s representatives ran well in defeat at Kempton. The mare is a keen going sort and this extended 2m 1f trip may stretch her stamina – failed to get home over 2m 4f on her chase debut – but if she drops her head she is potentially well treated and is guaranteed a true run race with Theflyingportrait likely to go hard from the front.
The Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase is a cracker and Dan Skelton’s Getaway Mag is 9lbs higher than when scoring at Southwell on good to soft ground last time. She may not be quite as effective on deeper ground and preference is for Checkitout (1.45) who drops back in trip having looked a thorough stayer when third at Bangor-on-Dee last time. The selection – 5s with Unibet – had previously fell four out when, seemingly, going best at Ludlow. I hope to see Sam Twiston-Davies make plenty of use of his father’s novice dropping back in distance by a quarter of a mile.
The feature race is the Lincolnshire National and I am loath to desert top-weight Cool Destination who did us a favour when scoring here last time although he has nothing in hand of the runner up Terrierman at the revised terms.
Cyclop won this corresponding race three years ago and is only 3lbs higher but lurking down the foot of the weights is Who’s In The Box (2.15) and he looked a thorough stayer when runner up at Wetherby last time and he represents a yard – that of Nick Kent – who could hardly be in better form. He gets the each way vote at 9s with Boylesports who are offering 4 places.
At Taunton Little Red Lion (2.05) can maintain his progressive profile in the 3m Novices’ Handicap Chase. David Pipe’s 6-y-old – 10/3 with 10bet – was brought down on his chase debut but scored at Lingfield last time and obviously gets on well with leading conditional Fergus Gillard who keeps the ride. A 6lbs rise may not prevent him following up. The deeper the ground the better.
Harry Cobden keeps the ride on Kiwi Myth (3.15) in the 3m 3f handicap chase having finished runner up on the 8-y-old on his seasonal reappearance at Fontwell last month. The selection – 5s with BetVictor – is 2lbs higher this afternoon, but he would surely have won last time had he not clouted two out. If he jumps with the same fluency as he did at Fontwell – save the second last – he will surely take plenty of catching.