Punters could be saying Thankyou Very Much again tomorrow when the mare of that name bids to follow up her recent hurdles victory at Musselburgh.
A winner three times on the level, she opened her account over timber in great style here at the end of November, taking command on the home turn and running on strongly in the closing stages.
The five-year-old had shown plenty of promise on her hurdling bow at Wetherby, moving into contention on the home turn before tiring at the penultimate flight and then making a hash of the final obstacle. She has to give weight away all round in the William Hill Cosmic Case Mares Novices Hurdle (1.40), but Joe Colliver claims a handy 5lb allowance and she can oblige again.
Brave Spartacus won four races over fences at around this time two seasons ago before injury kept him out for a year after he was pulled up at the 2013 Aintree festival. The gelding returned over hurdles and it took three outings before he reached concert pitch with an all-the-way win at Sedgefield in October. He has not been seen since then and now races off a 9lb higher mark.
But he is still some 31lb below his peak rating over fences and can make a successful return to action in the William Hill Download the App handicap Hurdle (1.10) when this sharp track can play to his front-running style.
Yorkshire trainer Brian Ellison is likely to saddle both It’s a Man’s World and Streets of Newyork in the Andrew Maclennan is 21 Handicap Hurdle (2.10), and the latter gets my vote.
He ran well when fifth in the valuable Hogmaneigh Hurdle here last year and later won a competitive affair on the level at York in May and was also placed several times at that discipline
The gelding had a pipe-opener on the all-weather at Wolverhampton in December following a break of three months and was then just denied on his return to hurdling at Wetherby on Boxing day.
He came with a strong run to lead after jumping the final flight, only to edge right on the run-in and was collared near the line. The handicapper has put him up 5lb for that effort, but he can still go one better.
Solway Sam has been ultra consistent since winning at Perth in August, being placed on seven of his eight outings, including when runner-up on five occasions.
The veteran was far from disgraced when finishing third at the last fixture here and can take the William Hill App Store handicap hurdle (3.20) over that same course and distance.
Connections will be hoping that the high winds dry out the seaside venue a little as the gelding is not at his best in the mud, but this certainly looks a reasonable winning opportunity.
Selections: 1.10 Brave Spartacus; 1.40 Thankyou Very Much; 2.10 Streets of Newyork; 3.20 Solway Sam.