Jeremy Grayson re­turns with more rec­om­men­da­tions for next-time win­ners to fol­low on from his most re­cent suc­cesses Raven’s Tower (9/2) and Imjoek­ing (100/30)

Racing Ahead - - OUT IN THE STICKS -

for­mance over jumps, al­low­ing him to stride on from the out­set around a sharper 2m still very much looks worth a try next time. A re­turn to a softer sur­face than this should hold no ter­rors judged on those Flat wins.

NEW­CAS­TLE, NOVEM­BER 11TH ( GOOD 2m98yds Novices’ Hur­dle (class 4)

There must be at least some temp­ta­tion on Peter Niven’s part to see whether ATOMIX would be best served by go­ing the Clever Cookie route and switch­ing to the Flat, not least as the five-year-old’s Ger­man Clas­sic breed­ing makes him bet­ter suited to that vo­ca­tion than his han­dler’s un­doubted sta­ble star. Nev­er­the­less,it’s hur­dles for now,and a 4l third here rep­re­sented a far closer fin­ish than on his jump­ing de­but, if one a lit­tle de­fi­cient in the jump­ing de­part­ment once or twice. Even deeper ground would suit on the ev­i­dence of the Doyen geld­ing’s best bumper form – as, for that matter, would a re­turn to a course as sharp as the Mus­sel­burgh of his vic­tory in that sphere last win­ter, where the in­nate Flat race speed of his breed­ing came to the fore.

2m75yds 0-135 Novices’Lim­ited Hand­i­cap Chase (class 3)

Four from five in com­pleted bumper and hur­dle starts pre­vi­ously, and al­ready a winner at this venue (al­beit a three-run­ner end-of-term affair), LAKE VIEW LAD should find scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties over fences no less easy to come by on the ev­i­dence of this pro­fi­cient chas­ing de­but. Twice on the floor as a hur­dler but by no means an er­ratic jumper in that sphere, only a sticky leap on the first in the home straight here blot­ted his copy­book, and the drop back below 2m1f for the first time since his bumper days can’t re­ally be said to have found him out. As such, Nick Alexan­der can look to plun­der novice or novice hand­i­caps up north as the win­ter pro­gresses at trips of 2m-2m4f, with a re­turn to deeper ground likely all to the good for this son of Os­car.

UTTOXETER, NOVEM­BER 12TH (GOOD 2m4f 0-135 Novices’ Hand­i­cap Chase (class 3)

With a par­al­lel point-to-point train­ing op­er­a­tion still very much a go­ing con­cern, the fact that Tom Lacey has brought BRAN­DON HILL back from a near twoyear ab­sence to con­test good novice hand­i­caps like this rather than find him some­thing sim­pler be­tween the flags may suggest that all the Ben­e­fi­cial geld­ing’s abil­ity is thought to re­main in­tact. The signs for bet­ter next time were in­deed promis­ing, with the eight-yearold still mean­ing­fully in­volved un­til fad­ing from three out, and the as­ses­sor’s de­ci­sion to keep him on the same mark he de­fied in a Lud­low hand­i­cap hur­dle (3m, soft) when last seen could be make to look a mite fool­ish, re­gard­less of whether this 47l de­feat prompts any fur­ther clemency.

1m7f168yds 0-100 Hand­i­cap Hur­dle (class 5)

GALACTIC POWER was never go­ing to be seen to very best ef­fect on this re­turn out­ing af­ter an ab­sence of 17 months,and the ef­fort launched mid-race couldn’t be

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