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Huntingdon and Wetherby previews: Kassis can kiss rivals goodbye

| 17.05.2016

David Metcalf | May 17, 2016

Kassis can cash-in on class drop to collect at Huntingdon

Kassis can take advantage of a drop in class to get back to winning ways in the 2m 4f handicap chase on this evening’s card at Huntingdon (19.00).

The Jamie Snowden trained mare shaped with plenty of promise when runner-up on chasing debut before showing a good attitude to go one better in a class 4 contest at Bangor.

Kassis raced prominently throughout and after being strongly pressed at the last dug deep to tenaciously fend off September Blaze by 1/2 a length off a mark of 73.

The seven-year-old has since had just three starts, and has been very highly tried in the last two of those in Listed class 1 contests.

Kassis ran as well as could be expected in the first over course and distance when a 17 1/2 length fourth of five to the smart Emily Gray, and the drop back down to class 4 company is sure to see her in a far better light.

The daughter of Kalanisi is also now back down to her last winning mark, and this looks a golden opportunity for Kassis to get back on the scoresheet.

Vital Evidence gets the verdict

Vital Evidence

In the 2m 3f handicap hurdle (19.30), Vital Evidence looks weighted to make a winning debut for trainer Kim Bailey.

The gelding was a useful sort on the level for Sir Michael Stoute and showed enough in four spins over hurdles for Donald McCain to suggest he would have little difficulty winning races over the obstacles.

They included a promising fourth to the now 115-rated Knights Parade, and Vital Evidence held a one length lead and was still going well when falling three from home when last seen in action at Kelso 12 months ago.

The six-year-old now makes his handicap debut off a mark of 105, and that could well be on the lenient side given his unexposed profile.

Bailey has also done well with inmates from the McCain yard, and Vital Evidence looks the type who could have plenty more to offer now going down the handicap route.

Huntingdon selections

17.25: Soupy Soups
18.00: All Yours
18.30: John Biscuit
19.00: Kassis (NAP)
19.30: Vital Evidence (NB)
20.00: Frontier Vic
20.30: Galros Lady

Relight My Fire hot stuff at Wetherby

Relight My Fire shaped well on seasonal reappearance and looks decent value to land the spoils in the 1m handicap on this evening’s card at Wetherby (19.40).

The Tim Easterby trained gelding has notched all five of his career success at Beverley, and in the last of those stayed on strongly from off the pace to score by 1 1/4 lengths off a mark of 68.

Relight My Fire went on to finish an excellent second off 73, and is now able to race off 67.

That is 1lb lower than when last victorious and gives the six-year-old major claims from a handicapping perspective.

Relight My Fire also comes into the race on the back of en eye-catching staying on sixth of 11 to All You at Beverley when tenderly handled, and usually needs a run to put him straight.

The son of Firebreak came good at the second time of asking last season, and with Rachel Richardson in the saddle taking off a handy 5lb with her claim looks weighted to do so again.


Gimlet has recipe for success

Gimlet ran really well when runner-up last time out an can go one better to open his account in the 1m 6f handicap (20.10) now stepped up in trip.

Trained by Hugo Palmer, who has made a fine start to the season, the gelding is a promising sort who posted a career-best effort when chasing home Recognition over 1m 4f at Lingfield 18 days days ago.

Gimlet tracked the leader until getting outpaced two from home, but then rallied strongly to go down by 1 1/2 lengths.

It was an effort which suggested the three-year-old was crying out for a step up in trip, and the form reads well in the context of this contest.

The winner and third home Spinning Pearl both went into the race on the back of successes, and it makes Gimlet’s current mark of 67 look exploitable.

Gimlet also remains unexposed and open to further improvement, and the booking of jockey Graham Lee is another positive he has a strike rate of over 28% when teaming up with the yard in the past 12 months.

Wetherby selections

17.40: Dalmarella Dancer
18.10: Belle’s Angel
18.40: Sovereign Bounty
19.10: Cosmic Chatter
19.40: Relight My Fire (NAP)
20.10: Gimlet (NB)
20.40: Haraz


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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.