Ready to Rock
Chris Wilson says Oscar Rock can dish out weight and a beating at Market Rasen on Thursday – he has a tip in every race.
Oscar Rock can score back over hurdles at Market Rasen
CLONMEL: 12.35 Berry Des Aulmes, 1.05 Tornado Watch, 1.35 Blackthorn Prince, 2.10 Alelchi Inois, 2.40 Westerner Lady, 3.15 Tisamystery, 3.50 Sanibel Island1.
CHELMSFORD: 4.40 Roundabout Magic, 5.15 Time To Study, 5.50 Regal Dan, 6.25 Chookie Royale, 7.00 Remember Me, 7.30 Hidden Gem, 8.00 Dream Ruler.
MARKET RASEN: 1.00 Mr Monochrome, 1.30 Zara Hope, 2.05 Oscar Rock, 2.35 Cusheen Bridge, 3.10 Foundation Man, 3.45 Western Ryder.
NEWCASTLE: 12.20 Holmeswood, 12.50 Sutter County, 1.25 HIGHLAND ACCLAIM (NAP), 1.55 Sunglider, 2.25 Miss Tree, 3.00 Hard Toffee, 3.35 Bay Mirage, 4.10 Cliff.
WINCANTON: 12.40 Golden Birthday, 1.15 Demographic, 1.45 Abidjan, 2.15 The Yank, 2.50 Lettheriverrundry, 3.25 Clondaw Shane, 4.00 Distant Rain.
DOUBLE: Highland Acclaim and Cusheen Bridge.
Oscar Rock can dish out weight and a beating when he returns to the track at Market Rasen.
The eight-year-old has always has always been fondly admired by trainer Malcolm Jefferson, but things did not quite go to plan after he won a Listed handicap chase at this track in September.
That said, he was pitched into some pretty exalted company on three subsequent outings so the bare form figures are obviously a bit of misnomer.
He did, however, not run too badly at all in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in April, yet still looks on a high enough mark over fences.
To that end, the return to hurdling in Lincolnshire should strengthen his hand no end upon his return to action – even though he must shoulder top weight in the Swinton Insurance Lord Tennyson Handicap Hurdle.
Oscar Rock is good enough to overcome that stumbling block, with the fact his trainer is in the midst of a genuine purple patch another big positive.
Cusheen Bridge should go well in the Blockfree Services Chase.
The eight-year-old enjoyed himself over three miles at Market Rasen in mid-October when he finished a close second in a decent handicap chase.
Yet having won a novice handicap chase over this course and distance in July off just a 5lb lower mark, the drop in distance is seemingly of little consequence.
It is not too big a surprise to see Abidjan back over hurdles at Wincanton.
Paul Nicholls' six-year-old has failed to build upon a winning chase debut at Newton Abbot in May, so the Be Wiser Insurance Handicap Hurdle should be more suitable for him at this stage of his career.
Highland Acclaim can gain handsome dividends when he steps back up to six furlongs at Newcastle.
The David O'Meara-trained five-year-old has found life a little tough since he won by a neck at Epsom in the summer, with the handicapper hardly making life a bed of roses for him, either.
But he is still a very capable operator on his day and can be trusted to run purposefully in the Betway Sprint Handicap.
Highland Acclaim last reported for duty on November 1, when he was sent off the 7-2 joint-favourite in a strong five-furlong handicap at Wolverhampton.
But he perhaps lacked the zip to go with the protagonists on that occasion and to make do with third spot behind Upstaging.
O'Meara must still have been happy enough, and has now made the hardly dramatic decision to step back up to six furlongs – a distance at which he has done all of his winning.
Highland Acclaim has gone up 4lb for this race, which is a shade unfair, but he has won before off a higher mark and had previously caught the eye when a close-up third at Chelmsford.
Highly likeable eight-year-old Chookie Royale can make short shrift of a 6lb penalty in the totepoolliveinfo.com Handicap at Chelmsford.
Keith Dalgleish's inmate has been a rare beast on the all-weather, having won a clutch of big races over a variety of distances.
That he was allowed to go off at odds of 16-1 in a conditions stakes at Kempton a week ago now feels a bit silly as he made all of the running to record a thumping length-and-a-quarter victory.
Chookie Royale is head and shoulders above all of his rivals on the ratings and will be helped by the 5lb claim of Shirley Teasdale.