Spear has clear chance for handicap expert Martin

Tony Martin has three runners in a race he has never previously won

PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos) Spear has clear chance for handicap ace Martin By Graham Dench 7:30aM 17 DEC 2016

FEATHER-WEIGHTED Golden Spear leads a three-pronged challenge from Tony Martin for an ultra competitive renewal of the Grade 3 Wessex Youth Trust Handicap Hurdle that features no fewer than three previous winners of the race.

Flat and jumps, Martin has regularly plundered our biggest handicaps since She's Our Mare took the 1999 Cambridgeshire, and he has frequently left the bookies squealing.

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Golden Spear, a 16-1 chance when Saturday's race was first priced up, has plenty going for him as an unexposed last-time-out hurdles winner carrying just 9st 12lb with his jockey's allowance.

That last win was admittedly 454 days ago, but nobody should doubt his well being as last time out he took the valuable Tote November Handicap on the Flat at Leopardstown with a performance which suggests he is potentially very well in here.

Stable mates Quick Jack, a former Galway Hurdle winner, and Pyromaniac, who was in the headlines before the latest running of that race, provide strong back up to Golden Spear.

"All three are in good order," said Martin on Friday. "Pyromaniac and Quick Jack haven't run over hurdles since the Galway Hurdle in July when they both ran well despite not having the clearest of runs. We're claiming 7lb off Quick Jack as he has plenty of weight."

Of Golden Spear he said: "He is the least experienced of the three over hurdles and hasn't run over hurdles since winning at the Listowel festival last year, but he won nicely on the Flat last time and has his chance off bottom weight. The better the ground, the more it will suit all three."

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