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Baltimore Rock drops in grade for first run of season

Baltimore Rock may have class edge over rivals at Ludlow on Wednesday
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1.35 Ludlow
Tanners Wine Handicap Chase | 2m | RUK

A valuable midweek event, with £27,500 up for grabs in guaranteed prize-money. There are some useful chasers in opposition, including the top weight Baltimore Rock who boasts an official mark of 144.

Neil Mulholland’s seven-year-old has taken on the mighty Douvan on his last two starts, finishing fourth of five behind him in Punchestown’s Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase in April, and falling in the Racing Post Arkle at Cheltenham previously to that. He makes his first appearance of the campaign.

Baltimore Rock is one of four course winners in the eight-strong line-up. The others are Gardefort, Noche De Reyes and Festive Affair.

Colin’s Brother on the upgrade

Although 7lb higher in the weights this time and significantly up in class, such was the authority with which the progressive six-year-old Colin’s Brother landed a four-runner Bangor affair last time that he is likely to attract plenty of support to continue the good form of the Nigel Twiston-Davies stable. He has only 10st to carry once Jamie Bargary’s 3lb claim is taken into consideration.

Eyecatching formline

The Venetia Williams-trained seven-year-old Gardefort beat Sir Valentino, subsequent winner of Exeter’s Haldon Gold Cup, by seven lengths at Wetherby in January. A course and distance winner who travels notably well during his races, Gardefort looks capable of a big run.

What they say

Neil Mulholland, trainer of Baltimore Rock
We had him in at Cheltenham the other day, but it went a bit soft and he didn’t run. I’m happy with him. He’s got top weight as he’s a nice horse. Hopefully the track will suit him.

Joe Tizzard, assistant to Colin Tizzard, trainer of Sizing Platinum
He’s a lovely horse and was just found out at Cheltenham over two and a half miles - he just didn’t get up the hill so looks a two-miler. We thought a flat track like Ludlow would suit him and the prize-money is very good. He should get into a lovely rhythm round there and it will suit him, so I think he’ll run a big race.

Tom George, trainer of Noche De Reyes
He’s in good form and likes the track. He normally runs a good race there. We’ll have to see if there’s something better handicapped in there.

Evan Williams, trainer of Going Concern
It’s a good race with good prize-money. My jockey thinks he would have won last time [Going Concern fell three out in the Ludlow race won by stablemate Tornado In Milan].

Paul Henderson, trainer of Doitforthevillage
He clocked a very fast time when he won his last race at Lingfield. A strong-run race suits him ideally and he should get that over two miles at Ludlow. I think he will like the track and he goes there in good form.

I'm happy with him. He's got top weight as he's a nice horse. Hopefully the track will suit him
E.W. Terms