Duncan looking to qualify for big northern final with Finaghy
(RacingUK.com/HD Handicap Chase (qualifier for the Northern Lights Staying Chase Series) | 5yo+ | 3m2f197yd
This race is another step along the new BHA way to a final at Carlisle on 3 December promoting northern jumps racing for a series of 75 races leading to a £25,000-a-race finals day.
This staying division of the five series has had three qualifiers already this year and Ian Duncan is hoping his runner Finaghy Ayr can qualify for the Carlisle final as he has won his last two races there 15 months apart.
Finaghy Ayr had two of today's rivals behind in those wins with Jonny Eager third in the November 2015 win and last time Smuggler's Stash behind in fourth.
Jardine and Chapman combine well
Conditional Ross Chapman has ridden two of his ten career winners at the track and when teaming up with Iain Jardine he has won five of his 25 rides.
Two of the best records at the track
Unsurprisingly Brian Hughes is one of the top jockeys at the track with 29 course winners in the last five seasons but Paddy Brennan has a higher strike-rate with four winners coming from rare visits for 19 rides.
What they say
Lucinda Russell, trainer of Kilbree Chief
He ran a super race there last time but probably issn't the biggest fan of heavy ground but I'm quite hopeful as he is in good order at home.
Iain Jardine, trainer of Sevenballs of Fire
Conditions will suit him as the more testing the better as he is a plodder. He has cheekpieces on for the first time and they will definitely help him. He ran a little bit in snatches the other day but was staying on the strongly at the end. Ross [Chapman] is a very good claimer and I'm expecting a big run.
Mike Smith, trainer of Nakadam
He was unlucky not to win last time over two and a half miles which was too sharp for him. That was the plan to sharpen him up for this which we have had in mind for him for a while. He's in good heart and Richie McLernon gets on well with him.
Ian Duncan, trainer of Finaghy Ayr
He's in good form and the heavy ground should suit him - he needs every yard of the trip and Paddy [Brennan] seems to get on well with him. He had the Eider entry but wasn't qualified as he had only run twice over fences as a novice in the last two years.
Rose Dobbin, trainer of Smuggler's Stash
It's going to be a really good test of stamina, which will suit him and play to his strengths, and he's off a nice low weight to help in the conditions.