Catterick and Wolverhampton previews: Our Thomas looks tasty
David Metcalf | February 5, 2016
Our Thomas can cash-in on class drop at Catterick
Our Thomas can take advantage of a drop in class to get back to winning ways in the 2m juvenile hurdle that opens proceedings on today’s card at Catterick (13.20).
The Tim Easterby trained gelding was a useful maiden on the level and showed a good attitude when making a winning debut over the obstacles at Wetherby back in October.
Our Thomas made good headway from off the pace to thrown down a challenge at the last and dug deep on the run-in to get the better of The Lampo Genie by a short-head.
It was a taking performance which suggested the four-year-old would be capable of winning plenty more races, and Our Thomas was far from disgraced last time out when upped in class and finishing a four length third to Leoncavallo in a Listed contest at Wetherby.
The winner is a useful sort, and the runner-up Sceau Royal has won three-times since to be rated 144 and is a leading contender for the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
That is extremely strong form, and a reproduction is going to make Our Thomas very hard to beat now dropped down into class 4 company.
Hainan has plenty in his favour
Hainan ran a blinder when runner-up last time out and can go one better to land the 3m 1f handicap hurdle (14.55).
The ex French trained gelding has only had six starts since joining Sue Smith, and showed improved form on the second of those to open his account over 2m 1f at the track 13 months ago.
Hainan only had to beat Argent Knight by 3/4 of a length off an official rating of 115, and was given an opening handicap mark of 120 on the back of that victory.
The five-year-old then failed to trouble the judge in his next three starts, but returned to form with a vengeance when last seen in action over 2m 1f at Haydock and beaten just a neck by Tomkevi.
Hainan was gaining all the way to the line, and the winner has come out and won again since to give the form a boost.
Judged on the way Hainan finished off the race he looks a potential improver now stepped up significantly in trip, and his current mark of 115 looks very exploitable on the pick of his form.
13.20: Our Thomas (NAP)
13.50: Oscar O’scar
14.25: Treliver Manor
14.55: Hainan (NB)
15.25: Wade Harper
16.00: The Cobbler Swayne
16.30: Diego Suarez
It’s time to get Rich Again at Wolverhampton
Rich Again has a good record at Wolverhampton and can cash-in on a drop in class to further enhance it with victory in the 5f handicap on this evening’s card at the Midlands venue (17.15).
The James Bethell trained gelding is a five time winner at the track, and struck form at this time last year when rattling up a four-timer.
In the last of those successes, Rich Again came with a late run to score by 3/4 of a length in a class 4 contest off a mark of 80.
The seven-year-old has since run well to be placed off marks as high as 84, and and is now able to race off a reduced rating of just 71.
That is 9lb lower than when last successful and gives Rich Again major claims from a handicapping perspective.
The son of Amadeus Wolf also comes into the contest having shaped better than the bare result suggests in his last four starts, and particularly caught the eye in on his penultimate outing over course and distance when missing the break before running on strongly from a hopeless position to be nearest at the finish and a 3 1/2 length fifth of 11 to Seve.
Rich Again looks sure to appreciate appreciate the drop down into class 5 company, and on the pick of his form is weighted to take all the beating.
Cailin can collect form red-hot Loughnane
Trainer Mark Loughnane has been banging in winners left right and centre in recent weeks, and the in-form Coillte Cailin looks decent value to provide him with another winner in the 1m 1f handicap (18.45).
The mare is a three-time course and distance winner and comes into the contest on the back of a career-best performance at Chelmsford when beating the thriving Pactolus.
Coillte Cailin came with a storming late run to get up close home and score a shade cosily by a head, and a 2lb rise in the weights looks more than fair.
Although the six-year-old now has to overcome a career-high mark of 80, Coillte Cailin is clearly in the form of her life at present and the return to this venue is a big plus.
The daughter of Oratorio should also get the strong pace she needs to be seen at her best, and has the ideal partner in the saddle in the shape of Graham Lee to deliver her with her customary late challenge.
17.15: Rich Again (NAP)
17.45: Evacusafe Lady
18.15: Field Of Dream
18.45: Coillte Cailin (NB)
19.15: Dangerous Thought
19.45: Jumbo Prado