Williams hopes Pentiffic will stay at Catterick
WITH Catterick surviving an 8am inspection, the North Yorkshire Grand National Handicap Chase over 3m6f will see the in-form Venetia Williams bid for a second victory in six days with Pentiffic.
"He won well around Musselburgh last week and the handicapper has raised his mark significantly, so this is an opportunity to run with just the 7lb penalty. Hopefully he'll stay," said Williams.
Pentiffic, who won by 14 lengths at Musselburgh, has gone up 15lb so is officially 8lb well in and as a result heads the market at 5-1. Top weight will be carried by Grand National hope Any Currency, who is the mount of Tony McCoy.
Martin Keighley, trainer of Any Currency, said: "He's in great form and will really appreciate the test of stamina. He was running a massive race in the Becher Chase and it was just unfortunate he got in close at the Canal Turn.
"He had a wind op in the summer which has definitely helped and the tongue-tie might help him even more. He has a very live chance."
Also at Catterick Sea Lord, rated as high as 115 on the Flat, becomes the latest highly-rated Flat horse to make his debut for John Ferguson. He is 15-8 favourite, with Life And Soul, now with Donald McCain and once rated 93 on the Flat, his main market rival.
At Meydan the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge is the highlight of the first day of the winter carnival, with Fulbright the 7-2 favourite.