Catterick and Newmarket previews: Cliff Face can complete hat-trick


David Metcalf | August 12, 2016

Cliff Face a Catterick cracker

Cliff Face has won her last two starts in facile fashion and can make light of a penalty to land the hat-trick in the 1m 4f amateur riders’ handicap that opens proceedings on this evening’s card at Catterick (17.40).

The filly shaped well on her final start for trainer Ed Dunlop, when runner-up on handicap debut at Lingfield, and has taken her form to a new level since joining Sir Mark Prescott.

Jockey Luke Morris sat motionless in the latter and his main concern was preventing Cliff Face from winning by too wide a margin.

The selection has to shoulder a 6lb penalty for that success but is due to race off a mark of 82 in future assignments, and is 5lb well-in at the weights turned out quickly off a rating of 77.

The three-year-old also has the services of top amateur Serena Brotherton in the saddle and looks just the type that Sir Mark will get a good sequence of wins from.

Innocently handicapped to strike

In the 5f handicap (19.50), Innocently looks to hold leading claims of landing a long overdue success.

It’s almost two years since the David O’Meara trained gelding got his head in front but he singalled that his time was near when a nose runner-up at Haydock six days ago.

The four-year-old is able to race in this class 6 contest off an unchanged mark of 65 and that is 16lb lower than when last successful in a class 4 affair at Ripon.

It makes Innocently look thrown-in at the weights if building on his latest effort, especially if the fitting of the blinkers for the first time have the desired effect.

Connections have also put up Josh Doyle to do the steering, who is good value for his 5lb claim, and with underfoot conditions ideal this looks a golden opportunity for the son of Kheleyf to finally get his head back in front.

Catterick selections

17.40: Cliff Face (NAP)
18.10: Bismarck The Flyer
18.45: Dandy Highwayman
19.20: Gala
19.50: Innocently (NB)
20.25: Coolcalmcollected

Geranium to bloom again at Newmarket

Blue Geranium scored in good style last time out and looks weighted to follow-up in the 1m handicap on this evening’s card at Newmarket (19.10).

The John Gosden trained filly came good at the seventh time of asking when coming from off the pace to beat Hollywood Road by 3/4 of a length at Yarmouth, off a mark of 70.

Blue Geranium only had to be driven out to score with more in hand than the winning margin suggests and the runner-up, to whom she was conceding 3lb, has since come out and scored at Newmarket off 75.

That gives the form a strong looks and suggests that the assessor has been very kind in raising the selection just 4lb.

A revised rating of 74 looks very exploitable and the three-year-old looks the type that could kick-on now that she has got her head in front.

The stable is also in good form having saddled six winners from it’s last 13 runners and another plus is that Blue Geranium has the services of Frankie Dettori in the saddle.

Spring Jig can waltz to success

In the 1m maiden (18.35), Spring Jig can build on a promising debut run to open his account.

The Hugo Palmer trained colt was well-backed before finishing third of nine to Gemina in a 7f contest at Sandown.

Spring Jig showed plenty of pace to track the leaders despute showing distinct signs of greenness and kept on well under tender handling to be beaten 5 1/2 lengths.

It was an effort which suggested there was better to come and the step up in trip looks sure to suit.

The two-year-old also hails from a yard whose juveniles tend to come on for their first run and it will take a smart newcomer to lower the colours of Spring Jig if, as expected, he improves significantly for the experience.

Newmarket selections

17.30: Rich Legacy
18.00: Quick Look
18.35: Spring Jig (NB)
19.10: Blue Geranium (NAP)
19.40: Thahab Ifraj
20:15: Predilection


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