Pirate King can bag the spoils in the Betway Handicap at Lingfield.
Charlie Fellowes’ six-year-old was a three-time course-and-distance winner last winter.
Kieran Shoemark was on board each time, and renews the association as Pirate King bids to open his account for the new campaign.
Shoemark was in the saddle when the gelding returned from a 270-day break to run with promise and finish fourth in a very competitive handicap at Kempton in November.
The winner that day was in the middle of a prolific run of form, chalking up the second of four consecutive successes, while runner-up Cepheus went on to an impressive Listed victory at Deauville next time.
Pirate King was then partnered by Stevie Donohoe back at Lingfield just before Christmas, and again performed with great credit – failing by only a length to peg back Al Zaraqaan, who was completing his hat-trick.
Fellowes’ improver is up another 1lb for his trouble and as goes with the territory as he continues his rise up the ranks, finds himself in against another clutch of in-form rivals here.
He is as progressive as any, however – and with his regular jockey back, he looks primed to run to his optimum on his third start of what should be a fruitful winter.
Catch My Breath is also a returning course-and-distance winner in the Bombardier British-Hopped Amber Beer Handicap.
In his case, he has achieved the feat just once, but it was at only his second attempt to do so, and on his most recent outing last week.
John Ryan’s grey was well-backed for that success as well, and the impression was that he was good value for the length-and-a-half verdict.
A 6lb rise back up to just beyond his previous winning rating is therefore by no means unreasonable – and it is, of course, no concern at all that rising star Laura Pearson takes over in place of her fellow apprentice Darragh Keenan, and can still claim 5lb to his three.
The Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football Handicap is another competitive event, in which Water Of Leith is of most interest as he bids for a hat-trick against his fellow three-year-olds.
Jim Goldie’s gelding was a shock winner on just his second racecourse appearance, putting an unsuccessful mid-summer turf debut well behind him when he pounced from off the pace to take a Wolverhampton novice at 33-1 last month.
He duly followed up under a penalty over the same course and distance, taking care of an odds-on favourite by half a length.
Water Of Leith has therefore earned his mark of 90 on handicap debut and, sticking to six furlongs, is the pick from a select field of similarly promising types.
The contenders for the preceding Bombardier “March To Your Own Drum” Handicap possess less obvious potential, but among them Kylla Looks has done enough of late to suggest a third win in her last four attempts is far from out of the question.
Mike Murphy’s filly was well-beaten on her only previous Lingfield visit, but that was over the minimum distance and she has really hit her stride since moving back up in trip of late.
The application of cheekpieces has also clearly helped, bringing her a surprise breakthrough win at Wolverhampton in November, a second success over that course and distance this month and a good effort as a neck runner-up at Chelmsford in between.
She held on by only a diminishing head last time.
But consequently, the handicapper has given her a fair chance to consolidate her progress from just 2lb higher.
Over jumps, Thurles supplies two instalments of Grade Two action.
Colreevy has already proved right up to this standard and beyond, having won a Grade One at Limerick over Christmas – getting the job done when her accident-prone stablemate Asterion Forlonge fluffed his lines with a mid-race departure.
She also made a serious mistake, at the second-last, but that gave her an opportunity to demonstrate her class and determination by rallying to beat the geldings nonetheless.
Colreevy has pretensions to take on open company again at the big festivals fast approaching – and if she is to do so, she should be well capable of remaining unbeaten over fences despite having to concede weight all round in the Coolmore N.H.
Sires Kew Gardens Irish EBF Mares Novice Chase.
20 Ripper Roo, 1.
50 Precious Eleanor, 2.
20 Pemberley, 2.
50 Lugg River, 3.
20 Graces Order, 3.
50 Joly Maker, 4.
20 Super Six.
40 Violet’s Lads, 1.
10 Zayriyan, 1.
40 PIRATE KING (NAP), 2.
10 Catch My Breath, 2.
40 Kylla Looks, 3.
10 Water Of Leith, 3.
40 Pinball Wizard, 4.
10 Spring Romance.
30 Colreevy, 2.
00 Allaho, 2.
30 Kitten Rock, 3.
00 Gentlemansgame, 3.
30 Eurotiep, 4.
00 Flindt, 4.
30 Noble Yeats.
DOUBLE: Pirate King and Catch My Breath.
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