Even though Fontwell's card fell victim to the weather, there are still four meetings scheduled across this afternoon and evening in Britain and Ireland.
Southwell kicks us off, and afternoon meetings from Catterick and Clonmel follow. The evening action takes place at Chelmsford, where they have a seven-race card.
Amongst our fancies on Thursday is a progressive Tim Easterby horse, who can follow up his last-time out victory in Catterick's £20,650 feature race.
12.55 Southwell - Khamsin @ 11/2
Yet to get off the mark in his three starts so far, the switch to handicaps can provide the perfect opportunity for KHAMSIN to shed his maiden tag this afternoon.
David Simcock's charge put in an improved effort to finish fourth in a maiden at Chelmsford last time out (7f, standard). His jockey certainly didn't give him a hard time once victory was out of the question, and that can certainly work in his favour now that he is switching to handicaps.
This US-bred three-year-old cost £195,000, and his sire has produced plenty of middle-distance types, and the step up to a mile may prove beneficial on that evidence.
The handicapper has allotted him an opening mark of 72, which looks workable, and he should take another big step forward here. Callum Shepherd is the jockey on board, and he's operating at a healthy strike rate of 24 per cent in the last fortnight.
14.30 Catterick - Court At Slip @ 15/2
Tim Easterby's COURT AT SLIP is one to look out for at Catterick as he looks to improve his solid record over fences in the North Yorkshire Grand National at Catterick.
The son of Court Cave has had nine starts over fences so far and already has four wins and a second to his name. This includes a hard-fought victory at Newcastle last time out (2m7½f, heavy), for which the handicapper has put him up 4lb.
He was undoubtedly inconvenienced by the jockey dropping his whip on the run-in and may have a little more in hand than the winning margin suggests.
The 3m6f trip is a step into the unknown, but it certainly bodes well that he has won over 3m3f in the past. Catterick is a fairly easy track, and the extra three furlongs should be manageable.
There should be more to come from him, and further success may well be on the cards.
20.00 Chelmsford - Ultramarine @ 2/1
There's an extra place available with Betfred in this race, and ULTRAMARINE is capable of taking home the spoils in this competitive affair.
David Evans' charge is due to go up 8lb as a consequence of his cosy victory at Kempton last week. That win came in an apprentice race, so he avoids a penalty here, and it's hard to ignore the fact that he has so much in hand.
Also a winner at Chelmsford last month, the form of that race has been boosted by the second, who has gone on to win since.
This horse has a somewhat illustrious history and finished fourth in the National Stakes (7f, good) as a juvenile when trained by Joseph O'Brien. The return to this trip has certainly benefited him, as evidenced by his last couple of starts, and he's clearly well handicapped.
Bidding to complete a hat-trick here, he's difficult to oppose whilst in such good form, and this looks like a cracking opportunity.
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