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Bangor and Wolverhampton previews: River ready to roll

| 02.03.2016

David Metcalf | March 2, 2016

Tanit River can get back on winning trail at Bangor

Tanit River shaped as if returning to form last time out and looks weighted to get back to winning ways in the 2m 3f handicap hurdle at Bangor today (15.40).

The Tim Vaughan trained six-year-old showed improved form to land a couple of handicaps 12 months ago, with the last of those successes coming at Chepstow off a mark of 100.

Tanit River and was then far from disgraced when eighth of 19 to Roll On Ruby in a competitive class 2 contest at Cheltenham off a revised rating of 112.

The gelding is now able to race in this weaker class 4 contest off 4lb lower, and comes into it on the back of an eye-catching run to finish fourth at Uttoxeter.

After being keen and making a bad mistake in the early stages, Tanit River kept on nicely to be beaten just over eight lengths.

It was an effort which suggested the son of Indian River was coming to the boil, and with 5lb claimer Alan Johns in the saddle Tanit River looks weighted to take all the beating if building on it.


Suzie can collect for in-form O’Brien

Trainer Fergal O’Brien has his team in fine form, and Son Of Suzie can cash-in on a drop in the weights to provide him with another winner in the 3m 5f handicap chase (16.15).

The mare was a bumper/hurdles winner who hasn’t really built on a promising start over fences in three runs this season.

However having started life off over the larger obstacles on a rating of 120, Son Of Suzie is now able to race off a career-low of just 110.

That makes the eight-year-old dangerously well-treated on the pick of his form in what doesn’t look the strongest of class 4 contests.

Son Of Suzie also now gets stepped up significantly in trip, and connections are fitting the son of Midnight Legend with cheekpieces for the first time.

If that combination has the desired effect, Son Of Suzie is going to be tough to beat in the hands of promising 3lb claimer Conor Shoemark.


14.00: What A Scorcher
14.30: Bellator
15.05: Supreme Asset
15.40: Tanit River (NAP)
16.15: Son Of Suzie (NB)
16.50: The Pierre Lark

Viva Verglas weighted to strike at Wolverhampton

Viva Verglas shaped well last time out and can take advantage of a further drop in the weights to score an overdue success in the 5f handicap that opens proceedings on today’s card at Wolverhampton (14.20).

The gelding was in terrific form in 2013 when trained by David Barron and winning four times, with the last of those successes coming in a class 2 contest over course and distance off a mark of 94.

Although Viva Verglas has failed to get his head in front since, he has run well to make the frame on numerous occasions.

They include two runs at Southwell, when a short-head second to Guishan in a class 3 contest off 81 and runner-up to Ace Master off the same rating.

Viva Verglas is now able to race off just 67, 27lb lower than when last successful, and that gives him outstanding claims from a handicapping perspective in this class 5 contest.

The five-year-old also comes into the race having finished a decent third over 6f at Southwell last month following a break, and that should have blow away the cobwebs and put Viva Verglas spot on for this.

Horse Racing - Wolverhampton Racecourse

Ashford Island the ace in the pack

In the 7f handicap (14.55), Ashford Island is a fascinating contender now stepped back up in trip.

The Mike Murphy trained gelding has only had seven starts and caught the eye on handicap debut over 1m at Chepstow when sixth of 10 to Senza Una Donna.

After being held-up off the pace travelling nicely, Ashford Island made good headway three form home to hold every chance at the two marker before being unable to find any extra approaching the last and weakening to be beaten 7 1/2 lengths.

The three-year-old was not knocked about and allowed to come home in his own time once it was clear he would not be winning, and showed enough to suggest that he should be capable of winning a race of this nature.

Ashford Island also comes into the contest having posted a career-best effort to finish third over 6f at Kempton last month, keeping on to be nearest at the finish and beaten 3 3/4 lengths.

The step back up to 7f looks sure to suit, and having since been dropped a further 1lb Ashford looks weighted to run a huge race of a basement mark of 47 if taking another step forward.


14.20: Viva Verglas (NAP)
14.55: Ashford Island (NB)
15.20: Next Edition
15.55: Molly Approve
16.30: Dana’s Present
17.05: Project Bluebook


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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.