Natasha Coates is in North Yorkshire this afternoon for her tilt at the Placepot...
Indego Blues is one of two three-year-olds in the race and should appreciate the drop back in trip after disappointing on quick ground over seven furlongs last time.
14:10 - The first race on the card looks a tricky affair, now down to six runners suggesting two selections will be necessary. The pick on form is Fidget, who improved from his debut to finish two and a half lengths third to Stand of Glory at Thirsk, and should go better again, back down in class. The ground is an unknown for most of these and, with that in mind, it may pay to take a risk on the one horse who has at least got form under testing conditions, namely Betty Boo. On debut at Nottingham, she ran her best race on heavy ground, and disappointing runs since could arguably be put down to unsuitable conditions. She showed a bit more on her good to soft nursery debut last time at Newcastle to back that up and is chanced to get the Placepot off to a good start.
14:40 - Another race with very few proven on the ground and plenty of already exposed types. Once-raced Vanity's Girl is the clear pick on form and will be suited by the step up in trip after finishing a promising six length runner-up to Sir Maximilian at Doncaster in June. That form has turned out well with both Million Faces and stablemate Planetex going on to win. She has had a break since then, and could go one better today for a yard that's in the winners. For our purposes, a top three finish will be enough.
15:10 - Solar View looks a solid selection from Sir Mark Prescott's stable, where Luke Morris makes the trip for this horse only. The yard has had many horses placed of late, despite missing out on the top prize, which suits our purpose and at a track that the trainer has a good record at, Solar View, who is 5 lb well in, should be in the mix at the end. There are doubts over his ability on soft ground, however, so we'll take out some insurance. Course specialist Bijou Dan is a consistent horse, scoring a hat-trick of seconds this season, and given that he is sure to handle the ground, we'll put our faith in the veteran.
15:40 - Mark Johnston's Idler has good claims to follow up under a penalty, after a career-best effort at Newmarket to finish one and a half lengths clear of Minalisa. The drop back in grade should help now against older horses and stepping up to seven furlongs. He didn't get home over that distance as a two-year-old, but is tried again over a course that he won at on heavy ground last year. The combination of Silvestre de Sousa and his old boss have a great record at Catterick, to offer some confidence in our selection. Half A Billion is second choice with Lee Topliss taking the ride, at the track that he has landed half of his rides for the trainer. Another who'll race up with the pace, Half A Billion steps back up to seven furlongs for the first time since May, only 2 lb higher than his last winning mark and should be thereabouts.
16:10 - Llewellyn and Indego Blues are the picks for this six-furlong handicap. Both from the David Nicholls stable, and with some course form, they have every chance to fill the top spots. Llewellyn joined Nicholls from Bill Turner last time after finishing runner-up in a seller here and will handle the ground over this trip. Indego Blues is one of two three-year-olds in the race and should appreciate the drop back in trip after disappointing on quick ground over seven furlongs last time. He now carries 2 lb less, and back under optimum conditions, should run into a place.
16:40 - Something of a risk in this final race, now Penang Pegasus is withdrawn, with two untested picks. Pugnacious has been racing on the polytrack, and goes back to the turf for the first time since his debut. The first-time blinkers are chanced to help for only his second run in a handicap though, with the very able assistance of Danny Tudhope on board. No Dominion has yet to try this distance and we are no closer to knowing if he may stay after having bad luck in running the last twice over ten furlongs. He is given a chance on this occasion to run well after a month off on though, now down in class for a stable in form.
14:10 - 3, 5
14:40 - 9
15:10 - 2, 8
15:40 - 1, 5
16:10 - 4, 6
16:40 - 2, 5
= 32 lines