Trainers Neil Mulholland and Paul Morgan will attempt to repeat victories of 12 months ago as Towcester resumes jump racing on Wednesday when the action is due to get underway at 2.20pm.
Mulholland and Morgan were on the mark last year with Barton Antix and Conas Taoi in the 2m 5f novices’ handicap hurdle and the 3m 1/2f handicap chase respectively.
This time around they are set to field Druids Lodge and Relkwood as they attempt to stick to the same race winning formula.
Mulholland, based at Limpley Stoke near Bath, is currently on the ‘hot’ trainers list and might even entertain hopes of a Towcester treble as he is also set to field Prettylittlething against Conas Taoi in the handicap chase and Pinkie Brown in the 2m novices’ chase at 4.20pm.
His best hope would appear to be Prettylittlething which was a runner-up in a nine runner Worcester chase three weeks ago although this will provide even more of a stamina test.
Druids Lodge has had a couple of runs over hurdles but perhaps his most significant piece of form to date was here in February when beaten only eight and a half lengths into fourth place in a National Hunt Flat race when he was trained by Don Cantillon.
However, Pinkie Brown certainly falls into the ‘interesting’ category, and not only because he is named after the ‘antihero’ and main character in the Graham Greene novel Brighton Rock.
The equine Pinkie Brown was the winner of a heavy ground Wetherby maiden hurdle at the start of the year before being sent over for a handicap hurdle at the Punchestown Festival in April where he finished fifth of 25 runners – a highly commendable effort.
After a couple of runs on the Flat in August he is now switching to fences early in his career and as a four year-old will be the baby of the field if heading to post.
Meanwhile, Relkwood was the winner of a handicap chase at Newton Abbot in June and appears to need at least a month between his races as he has subsequently been unplaced at Uttoxeter and back at Newton Abbot.
However, Morgan has shown he can ready one for the demands of a Towcester test.
County handler Ben Case is another man whose horses have been in decent form of late and he has also been known to saddle a winner at this opening Towcester fixture, notably Thoresby back in 2012.
So perhaps Pretty Rose can take the opening 2m 3f mares’ handicap hurdle.