Baltimore Rock bids for solid start on his return
Neil Mulholland: "He's got top weight as he's a nice horse"
PICTURE: Rob Watson Baltimore Rock bids for solid start on his return By Richard Birch 8:42AM 21 DEC 2016
A VALUABLE midweek event, with £27,500 up for grabs in guaranteed prize-money. There are some useful chasers in opposition, including topweight 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 previous 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.
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.
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 at Ludlow. 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 [fell three from home].
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.
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