Midweek racing in the lull before the big Aintree card starting Thursday. It’s workmanlike stuff, but we are always pleased to see Hexham. It is well worth the visit if you are ever in on near Northumberland, with the picturesque setting a mid distance chase away from Hadrian’s Wall.
The going is heavy, as it so often is there, and this makes the course an acquired taste whereby past Hexham form is often a big plus.
We are hoping so for today’s nap as Orioninverness will be looking to repeat his win in last years running of the 2m4f chase (1520).
He was a 6yo making a course debut off a mark of 88 when running out a clear winner under today’s jockey Stephen Mulqueen. He was pushed up to 94, up to 3 miles and on quicker ground when returning here in April that year for a fair 4th of 16.
He was the off the track for 8 months until falling on reappearance when in contention at Ayr, before a disappointing run at Newcastle. It is often worth excusing Newcastle form, and that showed when finally returned to Hexham he showed a return to form last time when a close 4th here a couple of weeks ago.
The handicapper has generously dropped him another 2lbs, and that is perfect timing as it returns him to the same rating of 88 off which he won this race last year.
Everything looks set for a repeat win. Short priced market leader Tikkandemickey is the obvious danger, but this 12yo is returning from a 3 month break, and whilst he has some winning form here, his latest course appearance include a last, an unseat, a pulled up, and a ran out. So probably happy to take him on.
Recommendation: Orioninverness, (1520 Hexham), 1pt win, 9/2 Hills
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