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Sunday, 20 January, 2019

Trainer Pauling looks ahead to Saratoga Grade 1 with Oskar Denarius

Ben Pauling is seeking his third career Grade 1 victory
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The Ben Pauling-trained Oskar Denarius will finally contest Saratoga's Grade 1 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Handicap (6.00) after the race was postponed due to heavy downpour on Thursday.

The seven-year-old stacked up three consecutive wins in the spring, including an impressive six-length romp at Newton Abbot, but was only midfield on his last start at Uttoxeter.

Watch Oskar Denarius win impressively at Newton Abbot

It's Pauling's first runner in America and victory would see Tom Garner ride out his conditional claim. 

Pauling said: "It was postponed from Thursday, which is never ideal, but having spoken to Tom [David, assistant trainer] he's still in very good order.

"It's dried up again so the conditions will be fine. The betting would say he has an outside chance, but it'll be interesting to see how he goes. We'd be thrilled if he can nick a place."

Keeping it in the family

Two trainers who have been heavily involved in their respective stables will have their first runners on Monday afternoon.

Helen Cuthbert will take over proceedings following the passing of her father Tommy at Warwick Bridge stables in Cumbria. She has two runners at Ayr this afternoon with Yair Hill (2.00) and Red Forever (5.00).

Tommy Cuthbert died earlier this month and daughter Helen saddles her first runner at Ayr
Cuthbert said: "I've been working for 18 years so things are pretty much the same. I'm keen to have a go and Dad would've wanted them to run.

"Yair Hill ran okay on his last run and we were pleased with him. Tomorrow's a drop in grade and he's working well. I hope there's not too much rain.

"Red Forever has been running okay but just isn't quite firing. He's had a string of tough draws but Rachel (Richardson) gets on great with him. I'm looking forward to running them."

Meanwhile in Devon, Paul George has taken over from his mother Karen. The Higher Eastington yard have had three winners on the Flat this season, with Simon The Great bidding to give them a first jumps winner in more than five years at Newton Abbot (4.40). 

George said: "Mum came out of retirement and got her licence back to get the business up and running 18 months ago. We always had it in our minds that I'd take over.

"We started with nothing and we've got 27 boxes in already – I'm building in another ten at the moment too. We want to continue expanding.

Watch Simon The Great finish fifth at Newton Abbot last time

"My first runner is Simon The Great, he came here untried and he's actually quite a nice horse, although he hasn't got a deep pedigree. He's a big lad and little bit backward, and has a lot of filling up to do.

"The first day he threw the race away at the start, but at Newton Abbot he stayed on well and we were happy with him. I'd like to think he'll run a competitive race, but he's more of a chaser for the future."

Red-hot Skeltons head to Newton Abbot

The Skelton household must be a happy place at the moment. Trainer Dan and jockey Harry enjoyed four winners at Uttoxeter on Saturday and boast an impressive 34 per cent strike-rate for the last fortnight.

Red Tornado is one of the quartet for Dan Skelton heading to Newton Abbot

They send four runners to Devon on Monday, including likely short price favourites Mrs Robin (2.10) and Red Tornado (2.40).

Read The Briefing from 8.30am daily on with all the day's latest going, weather, market moves and non-runner news

The betting would say he has an outside chance, but it'll be interesting to see how he goes
E.W. Terms
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