HORSE RACING: Bailey team targeting success in Sunday’s bonus Towcester meeting

Malapie in winning form at Towcester last week (Picture: David Yanez)
Malapie in winning form at Towcester last week (Picture: David Yanez)

The London bus theory might be preferable to the latest National Hunt formbook when Towcester stages an extra fixture on Sunday when the first race is due off at 1pm.

The Northamptonshire track has once more stepped into the breach, first to put its hat into the ring and offering to provide extra betting fare over the bank holiday weekend, to help offset the recent spate of cancellations.

Local trainer Caroline Bailey has not exactly made Towcester a principle target over the last few seasons, with runners here scarce.

In fact, prior to Malapie’s success at last Friday’s Ladies Night meeting, you had to go back to a success for Bohemian Rock in a 2m handicap chase in December 2011 for her last victory at the track.

However, Malapie’s cosy chase debut under Tom McClorey could prove the trigger point for further notches on the winner board especially as her string are in good form.

Not only could Malapie return, this time in the 2m 3f Pury End Handicap Hurdle, but there are also entries for Early Retirement, Crosspark and The Captain as the Holdenby North Lodge team bids to begin the 2018/19 season running.

The Towcester fixture could come as a blessing to the eight year-old Crosspark who is likely to swerve a more competitive target at Uttoxeter on Saturday to run in the 2m 5 1/2f handicap chase.

Crosspark is a winner of three of his 16 starts but has not been successful for over a year so connections will be keen to see him back on track on what should be his first ever visit to Towcester.

Early Retirement, owned by local care homes boss John Strowbridge, was regarded in a special light after the six year-old dotted up in two Southwell handicap hurdles in March and October last year but it would be fair to say his script has been slightly misplaced since, due to a low grade virus.

However, connections now believe he is firing once again and are hopeful of a bold show in either the 3m Abthorpe Novices’ Handicap Hurdle or the 2m 3f Pury End Handicap Hurdle.

The Bailey team also comprises The Captain, entered in the opening 1m 7 1/2f Shutlanger Maiden Hurdle at 1pm.

While this five year-old will doubtless be a more serious betting proposition once sent handicapping, he has already shown a glimmer of ability.

The concluding 1m 7 1/2f Duncote Intermediate Open national Hunt Flat race could be won by Bourton-on-the-Water handler Ben Pauling who has entered three of the 27 entries at the five days ate, namely: Bright Forecast, Hero’s Creek and Tel’art.