Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 10:31 03/12/2014
Milan Royale has attracted the lions share of support for the 2m 3f Class 5 BHEST Racing To School Handicap Chase at 12.50 Catterick, but after unseasting at Sedgfield, backing the 9-year-old comes with risk attached. Kevin Hunter's charge was in good spirit prior to that mishap, finishing a runner-up at Hexham before going one better when stepped up in trip at the same venue last month, but the course and distance winner will most likely struggle with a revised mark this afternoon.
Oorayvic is a worthy market leader at a standout price of 10/3 with bet365 and looks the one to side with today. Sue Smith's 7-year-old ran well at Catterick Bridge on his penultimate start over hurdles and is quickly getting the hang of things over the larger obstacles. The chestnut gelding was in it at the finish when third on his chase debut at Kelso in October and showed improvement to finish as runner-up when last seen at Sedgefield.
Today's step up in trip should not pose a problem for this progressive chaser and a mark of 92 can be coped with as the horse looks to be ahead of the assesor for now. Conditions underfoot at Catterick are described as Good (Good to Soft in places) which will suit the horse nicely and Oorayvic is confidently tipped to take another step forward in this sphere.
With a field of 11 runners there are naturally one or two dangers, with top-weight Harange perhaps feared most being turned out quickly after landing a 3 mile chase at Southwell yesterday. Zazamix ended a long losing streak in today's retained visor at Sedgefield last week and may be another to watch out for if coping with a 7lb penalty.