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Glenquin Castle nearly gave me a heart attack yesterday as he tried his best to copy Might Bite. He had the race sewn up and it was a matter of just running straight, but he found a way of nearly chucking it all away. Fortunately Mark Walsh managed to galvanise and get him back up to win on the line.
Off his current mark of 90, MIDNIGHT AURORA must be going close. He is a four times winner of hurdles, with two of those wins coming from a mark of 90 or below.
His seasonal reappearance wasn't suited for him at all, but I think he still ran with a decent amount of promise, even though he was beaten 22 lengths into fifth. The race was ran at a snails pace, which didn't suit, and he was still going quite well until two out where he couldn't go with the others. I think that was partly due to needing the run. He has won from his second run after a break before, back in 2019, so that could be similar today.
Mr Tristan Durrell takes the ride from Harry Skelton, and even though you'd want Harry to ride, the 7lb claimer isn't a bad alternative, as it means he will be running off a weight of 9st 13lbs, which is the bottom weight by 10lbs. The reason why Harry isn't riding is probably due to the weight of the horse, as his lowest riding weight in the last 12 months is 10st bang on.
I don't think this race looks particularly strong, with the majority of them being out of form. Macho Mover is the only recent winner, but he won a selling hurdle race, and whether that's reliable form, I'm not so sure. The weight he'd have to give away to the selection is a lot, so I'm hoping Midnight Aurora will have come on for his first run of the season.
I'm giving another chance to TEMPLEHILLS, who I believe will be much better than his most recent start when I also tipped him up. Like I said when I tipped him up a fortnight ago, he is very well handicapped, and the handicapper has done him a favour by dropping him another 5lbs, which puts him on a career low mark of 117.
Stratford is a course which has been good to Templehills, as he won and finished 3rd on his only two visits to the track last season. On both occasions Jack Savage was the pilot, and today Jack is back on board for this conditionals race, which is only seen to be a positive. He won off a mark of 120 with Jack on board last time, which was effectively 113 with his 7lb claim taken into consideration, and today he is effectively running off 114 as Jack can only claim 3lbs in this type of race.
I feel like last time was a run for fitness. Considering he has been a horse who has been used to good effect from the front, Sam Twiston-Davies basically gave him the opposite kind of ride last time out. He let him drift through the field very quickly, which suggested to me that he wasn't quite ready for his race lto and would be better for the run. This race might've been part of the plan, as he clearly enjoys the track, and he was in form here this last time last year.
13:15 Ffos Las - Race: 2
13:20 Stratford - Race: 2
13:30 Catterick - Race: 3