Inconsistent Orioninverness can avenge fall with heavy ground success
Conditions will be testing if this meeting survives an early inspection but that will suit ORIONINVERNESS (2.50), who has a patchy record but possesses the ability to land a race like this 2m5½f handicap on a going day.
Unsuitably quick conditions were a valid excuse when he was beaten favourite at Hexham in April, but the Lucinda Russell-trained seven-year-old showed that heavy ground was ideal at the same venue previously, pulling five lengths clear on the run-in.
He was still challenging when tumbling out four from home on his comeback here last month and should go close if there are no lasting effects from that fall.
CEANN SIBHEAL (2.15) will also like the ground. The nine-year-old has looked a bit one-paced in two starts at around 2m7f this winter, but he is slipping down the weights and Warren Greatrex reaches for a tongue-tie.
COOL MIX (12.35) has been placed in all three hurdles and the opener looks a good opportunity for him. The six-year-old went close at Kelso and Newcastle before a second here in December when he made most of the running but couldn’t match the finishing effort of McGowan’s Pass. He was clear of the also-rans and shaped as though this longer trip would suit.
THE KINGS WRIT (2.00) can get back on track in the 3m1f handicap chase.
Richard Woollacott’s seven-year-old was unsuccessful over hurdles last winter, but chasing is more his game and he won two point-to-points late in 2017.
He is best forgiven a recent fall when making his handicap debut at Bangor as he was unsighted at the eighth fence and ended up on the floor.
He was strong in the market that day having seemingly been given a lenient opening mark and should be able to repay his loyal supporters if getting a bit more luck.
SPIRIT OF ROME (12.20) was a modest maiden on the Flat, but her recent hurdles debut suggested she could find races in this sphere.
Having her first run for Harry Whittington, she couldn’t quite match Aiguille Rouge but led entering the home straight and had enough in the tank to secure second.
That form sets the standard in this modest company.
Nicola Currie looks a jockey going places and she has several decent rides on this card, including AUMERLE (8.10) in the finale.
The six-year-old built up a 12-race losing streak after making a successful debut for Shaun Lycett at Chelmsford in December 2015, but he got back to winning ways over this course and distance last month.
Confidence should be high after that success and a 5lb rise is offset by his partner’s claim.
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