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Amiral out to go one better than a year ago in Lincolnshire marathon

Amiral Collonges: can go well back at Market Rasen
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Amiral Collonges already has one National to his name and is out to bag another in the Clugston Lincolnshire National (2.15) at Market Rasen.

The seven-year-old won the Norfolk equivalent at Fakenham in the spring and is bidding to go one better than a year ago in the 3m3½f handicap chase.

Trainer James Evans, who is sending three runners to the track, is hopeful the seven-year-old is primed for another good show after his comeback second here last time.

He said: "Amiral Collonges seems to like it at Market Rasen and ran very well there last time over an inadequate trip of three miles.

"He also likes these extreme tests of stamina and seems a stronger horse than last year when he was second in this. We're hopeful he can go one better."

On his other runners at the track, he added: "We are in for a busy afternoon as have old Friendship Boy in the selling hurdle (12.05) and Cry Wolf in the novice handicap hurdle (2.50), both of whom would have each-way chances."

Ewart out to Strike on second attempt

Scottish-based trainer James Ewart has a rare runner at Huntingdon in the shape of Strike The Pose in the Listed Henrietta Knight Mares' Bumper (2.25), a race that has been saved from a meeting that was called off at the track in November.

Ewart knows all about that particular fixture as he sent his Kelso winner down the A1 from Dumfriesshire for the race, only for it to be frozen off.

He said: "We have to travel overnight as it's an eight-hour journey, so that was frustrating – hopefully we'll have better luck this time."

James Ewart: is hoping he can make it second time lucky when he travels down south with bumper winner Strike A Pose

Strike The Pose scored at handsome odds of 25-1 on her debut and Ewart has his bumper team in great shape.

He added: "We've had four individual bumper winners so far so they seem to be a good bunch.

"Strike The Pose is not the biggest but she jumps a hurdle well, which augurs well for the future, and we hope she can get some black type."

Luckless Victoriously can atone for Chelmsford defeat 

There would have been no rest down at Andi Brown's tiny Newmarket operation on Christmas Day as he prepares his stable star Victoriously for a tilt at the Betway Live Casino Handicap (1.10) at Wolverhampton.

Brown, who also runs a successful pre-training operation complete with swimming pool, is hoping his topweight can make a bigger splash than he did at Chelmsford last time, when he could never land a blow off a slow early pace.

In the absence of Martin Lane, Brown has moved to secure the services of Luke Morris for his hope, who comes from stall nine this time around.

Luke Morris: top honours with a four-timer

Speaking from Southfield Stables, known locally as 'the Alamo', Brown said: "Victoriously deserved to finish a great deal closer at Chelmsford and many people thought he was a bit unlucky. Hopefully there will be no hard luck stories this time around."

Repeat bid on the cards for Shockingtimes

Shockingtimes won the feature at Wincanton on Boxing Day the last time it was staged and is back to attempt to repeat the feat in the Bathwick Tyres Lord Stalbridge Memorial Cup (2.05).

After a good run of beating the weather from 2011 to 2015, last season's fixture was lost, and trainer Jamie Snowden has everything crossed it will be on this time around as his ten-year-old is in great nick.

Shockingtimes: could well have won on his reappearance from injury

He said: "Shockingtimes won it two years ago and then was off for a year with a leg. He was leading when falling three out on his comeback from injury at Fontwell when arguably he could have won. He's in great form at home and we just hope the meeting is on."

Murtagh hits comeback trail 

Lorcan Murtagh returns from nearly seven weeks out of action with one ride at Sedgefield.

The conditional jockey has been sidelined since suffering a double fracture to the skull when unseated from his father Barry's Swantykay at Musselburgh in early November.

Murtagh, enjoying his best season despite his injury, having ridden 12 winners in 2017-18, makes his comeback on the Dianne Sayer-trained Gentleman James in the 0-100 2m4f handicap hurdle (2.40).

 

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Victoriously deserved to finish a great deal closer at Chelmsford and many people thought he was a bit unlucky
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