Worcester preview: Church Field to exploit drop in class
Church Field looks a worthy favourite to land the 2m 4f selling hurdle on today’s card at Worcester (15.40) now significantly eased in grade.
The Jonjo O’Neill trained gelding showed much improved form in the summer of 2013 when racking-up a four-timer, with the last of those successes coming in a competitive class 3 handicap at Cartmel off a mark of 113.
Church Field got put up 9lb to 122 for that win and his form tailed-off badly.
However, after being cut plenty of slack by the handicapper Church Field has returned to form with a vengeance of late and got back to winnings ways when showing a good attitude to land a handicap hurdle at Fontwell by 1/2 a length on his penultimate outing.
The son of Heron Island idled when hitting the front, but only had to be driven out to score with more in hand than the winning margin suggests.
Church Field then fell at the second flight last time out at Chepstow when ridden by an inexperienced claimer, but now gets the services of Barry Geraghty in the saddle.
Connections are also fitting Church Field with the blinkers for the first time, and off an official rating of 117 this weak class 5 seller looks his for the taking granted a clear round.
In the 2m handicap hurdle (16.15), Ink Master can open his account to provide in-form jockey Richard Johnson with another winner.
The five-year-old was placed in two starts in Irish points before joining trainer Philip Hobbs and running well to finish an eye-catching fifth of 12 to Moon River in a bumper at Cheltenham.
After being held-up well off the pace the rear, Ink Master kept on nicely under tender handling to be beaten 18 3/4 lengths by a very exciting prospect who went on to land the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival in terrific style.
Ink Master then shaped better than his finishing position suggest on hurdles debut at Chepstow out when sixth of 16 to Warrantor, before going on to run well in two 16-runner contests over 2m at Ludlow when fourth behind Jack Frost and the useful Days Of Heaven.
It’s fair to say that Ink Master then disappointed badly on handicap debut at Doncaster when last seen in action, but the son of Whitmore’s Con remains with potential and looks the type who may do better this season off what looks a workable mark of 112.
14.00: Rock Des Champs
15.05: Wishfull Dreaming
15.40: Church Field (NAP)
16.15: Ink Master (NB)