Evening Telegraph (First Edition)
Sedgefield’s ideal for a Hold Up job
HOLD Up La Colmine can make the long journey from Somerset to Sedgefield pay dividends in tomorrow’s Join The Vickers.Bet Free Bet Club Handicap Hurdle.
Trainer Philip Hobbs, who now holds a joint-licence with his longtime assistant Johnson White, has saddled only 14 previous runners at the County Durham circuit, which is hardly surprising when you consider it is a round trip of well over 600 miles.
Hobbs has, though, saddled three winners from that relatively small pool and he and his new training partner look set to add to that tally with their latest long-distance raider.
Hold Up La Colmine was a £65,000 purchase last spring after winning an Irish point-to-point, but has so far proved frustrating to follow under rules.
There was plenty of promise in his fourth-placed finish on his hurdling debut at Chepstow in October, but it is a shade disappointing he has not won in four attempts since – finishing third on each occasion including a couple of short-priced defeats.
While the six-year-old appears unlikely to make up into a star, he enters the handicap sphere off what appears a workable mark of 112 and can give weight and a beating to his Sedgefield opponents.
Telhimlisten is expected to continue his fantastic run of form in the curtain-raising Follows Us @vickers.bet Novices’ Handicap Chase.
Not disgraced when fourth on his first start of the new year at Doncaster in January, the Jennie Candlish-trained seven-year-old has since rattled off four successive victories, with his last three coming in the space of just four days.
He is due to go up a stone in the handicap so providing his recent exertions do not catch up with him, he looks set to make it a five-timer faced with a solitary rival.
Merveillo catches the eye in the Ashcroft Services Handicap Hurdle at Chepstow.
The French recruit ran pretty well in a couple of Flat races for Jonjo O’Neill and JP McManus last spring and finished third, albeit well beaten, on his hurdling debut at Haydock in November.
His three subsequent efforts have been disappointing, but it would be no surprise to see him fare significantly better on his handicap debut.
Any market support could prove ominous.