TOWCESTER PREVIEW: Will Fled Or Pled try and repeat shock Towcester success?
Three of the six winners from Towcester's first 2016/17 meeting could return to Northamptonshire when the local track hosts an extra fixture on Thursday afternoon which starts at 12.45pm.
Shock 40/1 scorer Fled Or Pled could join successful favourites Innocent Girl and Pinkie Brown on the seven race card in an effort to enhance striking course form.
Fled Or Pled is trained by David Dennis at Hanley Swan near Worcester and caused his upset on October 5 when staying on stoutly up the hill to defeat favourite Spring Steel by two and a quarter lengths. The four year-old has since finished third of eight runners over a slightly longer trip at Bangor.
Dennis said: “The horse will run if the ground is right and we are happy with him. He does get a bit buzzed up, especially in the preliminaries. That can be a problem, especially as he is still only a four year-old and does have to learn to settle in his races.”
Dennis added: “We have had 12 winners this season but it is a bit frustrating that there have also been 23 second places. Probably our flagship horse is Final Nudge which finished second at Cheltenham last season to Unowhatimeanharry but he wants soft ground.”
Pinkie Brown is named after the anti-hero and soulless gang leader in Graham Greene’s novel Brighton Rock. The Neil Mulholland-trained four year-old fell at Cheltenham after his Towcester success but has since put in a clear round in a two runner affair at Warwick.
Mulholland is another handler whose horses are on top of their game, the yard having sent out 50 winners this season, already within striking distance of the 60 totted up last term.
On a day when the Towcester races adopt the title of Northamptonshire areas or villages, Fled Or Pled could bid for glory in the opening Nassington Handicap Hurdle at while Pinkie Brown is on course for the Charlton Novices’ Chase at 2.15, an hour after Innocent Girl has put her best foot forward in the Kings Sutton Handicap Hurdle.
Innocent Girl is trained by Harry Fry in Dorset and the seven year-old mare has been kept busy since her Towcester victory, mixing chasing with hurdling, winning on her last outing in a chase at Fontwell only last Friday.
The most valuable race of the day is the £12,000 Boughton Handicap Chase which could fall to the Tom George-trained Always On The Run, which has winning form in good to firm conditions.