Friday's horse racing selections: Corinthia a strong Hunch for Southwell
Corinthia Knight can demonstrate his superiority again in the Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap at Wolverhampton.
The handicapper has tried to redress the balance for this Tapeta rematch. But a one-and-a-half-length verdict in no way flattered Corinthia Knight, and the three-year-old top weight looks all set to put his elders in their place once more.
He has won on this surface before, and can continue to signpost another successful winter.
Watson and jockey Edward Greatrex may well bank some early reconnaissance with the winner’s enclosure in the Betway Live Casino Handicap.
Proceed can lead the way for them on stable debut, following her promising second over course and distance for Roger Varian at the start of the month.
Nicola Currie has been getting a fine tune out of Your Band of late, and can make it count in the first division of the Play 4Toscore At Betway Handicap.
Jamie Osborne’s gelding is back up in trip for this return to Wolverhampton after a Lingfield victory and two runners-up spots at Kempton and Chelmsford.
Your Band has left it just too late both times, but can deliver a telling challenge over the extra distance.
The timing looks right too to side with Molaaheth in the Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Novice Stakes.
Richard Hannon’s colt clearly appreciated the drop to six furlongs when beaten just half a length into third at Kempton on his second start two weeks ago, and looks ready to strike here.
At Southwell, Matterhorn should scale the heights again in the Sun Racing Handicap.
The three-year-old has a 6lb penalty for last week’s Lingfield win but looks to have little to fear off top weight here.
Galileo’s Spear has tried 21 times without success to add to his sole victory. But the five-year-old rarely runs a bad race and will stay as well as anything in the two-mile-two-furlong Play 4Toscore At Betway Handicap and may be able to double up at last against similarly exposed rivals.
The weekend starts early over jumps, with a fine Friday card at Ascot - where Vinndication can extend his unbeaten record in the Grade Two Noel Novices’ Chase.
Kim Bailey’s five-year-old opened his account over fences - adding to four wins, three over hurdles and in a bumper, last season - when he ground out a two-length success over a furlong shorter than this at Carlisle.
At this similar track, after a perfect break of a little more than a month, he is up in class but highly likely to keep up the winning habit.
Danny Kirwan is all set to get off the mark at the second attempt at a new discipline in the eventmasters.co.uk Maiden Hurdle.
Well-touted at Kempton last month, Paul Nicholls’ promising novice was beaten in a match at odds of 1-2.
The winner that day is useful, though, and this is not the time to lose faith in a horse who began his career with victories in an Irish point-to-point and then a Kempton bumper.
Nicholls’ Eason is a giant of a four-year-old who may end up reaching his full potential some way down the line.
Nonetheless, on the basis of an emphatic debut victory over a decent yardstick at Chepstow a couple of months ago, he may well be sharp enough for the Listed St Andrews Holdings Championship Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
At Uttoxeter, Blakerigg can defy his 7lb penalty and complete his hat-trick in the Signs 2000 Handicap Chase.
Nicky Richards’ seven-year-old has twice justified favouritism since returning after a wind operation, and further improvement is anticipated.
ASCOT: 12.45 Danny Kirwan, 1.20 Dell Oro, 1.55 Encore Champs, 2.30 Vinndication, 3.05 Deebaj, 3.40 Eason.
DUNDALK: 5.00 Fairy Fast, 5.30 Ahundrednotout, 6.00 Cold War, 6.30 Koybig, 7.00 Twenty Minutes, 7.30 Too Precious, 8.00 No Way Jack.
SOUTHWELL: 11.20 Motajaasid, 11.50 Deep Resolve, 12.20 Side Effect, 12.55 Don’t Do It, 1.30 Benaras, 2.05 Matterhorn, 2.40 Jashma, 3.15 Galileo’s Spear.
UTTOXETER: 12.05 Urbanist, 12.35 Bbold, 1.10 Gray Day, 1.45 Blakerigg, 2.20 The Crazed Moon, 2.55 Baron Du Plessis, 3.30 King Roland.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.15 Proceed, 5.45 Your Band, 6.15 Red Miracle, 6.45 CORINTHIA KNIGHT (NAP), 7.15 Storm Trooper, 7.45 Teresita Alvarez, 8.15 Aleeka, 8.45 Molaaheth.