RACING on Wednesday comes from Catterick, with the ground likely to be on the damp side.
Horses that have shown the ability to handle conditions, not to mention the actual course, have a big plus beside them in my book.
Shop Til You Drop runs in the first, a maiden seller, which trainer David Evans won last year. This fellow looks to have strong credentials to carry on that winning tradition for the trainer. He was much improved when second last time out at Warwick, the strongest piece of form in a race lacking depth and he sets the standard.
A stable that have started the season off in terrific form is that of Michael Dods, and he's been doing particularly well in middle distance handicaps. He has a well bred son of Exceed and Excel in the shape of Time to Excel, who wasn't knocked about in three maidens last year at Haydock, Thirsk and Redcar; He has been gelded over the winter and, stepped up in trip and off a mark of 52, he looks very well in.
Deep Applause could be worth taking a chance on for the same connections in the 4.15, a handicap over a mile and a half. The Royal Applause gelding steps up in trip, looking to find further improvement after reappearing two weeks ago. Going through his form as a three year old, his best form has come on soft ground and on bare form figures he may be a big price.
Cone Donkey runs for Brian Smart and Tom Eaves and debuts in handicap company after three runs in maidens. He lost by the margins of a head and a neck in two of those and his last run was particularly impressive. Off a mark of 64, he should run well and doesn't look to have a lot to beat.
Regal Acclaim looked a nice sort when running towards the back end of last season, putting three lacklustre maiden runs aside when finishing first and second in two handicap runs, both on soft ground. The main rival here looks to be Rosies Lady, fresh from a run last month, where she finished second, but the form of the stable would be something of a worry.
Wednesday, April 25:
2.05 – Catterick – Shop Til You Drop
3.10 – Catterick – Time to Excel
4.15 – Catterick – Deep Applause
4.45 – Catterick – Cone Donkey (nap)
5.15 – Catterick – Regal Acclaim (nb)