Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 11:26 13/01/2015
A relatively small field of five runners will go to post for the Shereford Handicap Chase at 2.40 Fakenham, but the extended 2 mile 5 furlong contest is not an easy puzzle to solve at first glance. Each runner has something to prove after their last run, some more so than others, but with a good record at this track Midnight Charmer gets the vote at 11/4 with 888Sport, where losing stakes are returned on horses finishing 2nd by up to half a length.
The market leader was in the winners enclosure at this venue in October, but has found life difficult from a revised mark with the 8lb hike for that success really taking it's toll in testing conditions on both of the bay geldings previous starts, where he finished 4th at Warwick before pulling up at Uttoxeter.
Emma Baker's 9-year-old drops in class and races from 2lb lighter today back at a track and trip at which he is proven. With so many questionmarks over the other runners, the mount of James Banks looks the most straightforward bet and will likely sit just off the pace to track the leaders before making a move in the closing stages.
Johnny's Legacy is perhaps the main danger to the selection returning from a break and receiving weight all round, but has never won with this much cut in the ground. Mount Vesuvius has been below par and has a lot to prove back over fences, while Goring One has been pulled up on his last three starts as was The Purchaser last time out who is yet to win under rules.