Baby shines brightest at Catterick

Wed 7 Mar 2018

Shine Baby Shine could be in line for Cheltenham's meeting in April after registering her first success over jumps with a solid display in the Watch Racing UK On The Go Mares' Novices' Hurdle at Catterick.

A dual winner on the all-weather, Philip Kirby's four-year-old travelled smoothly and was produced by 3lb claimer Thomas Dowson to lead between the final two flights and score by four lengths from Kaloci.

It was Dowson's first winner since he recovered from a broken arm sustained in a fall at Sedgefield.

Kirby said of his 6-1 scorer: "We've taken our time with her. She had a few runs on the Flat and gradually came to herself.

"She's been good and her hurdling has been getting better with every run.

"We'll look at a juvenile mares' race at Cheltenham on April 19 for her now."

The Jam Man landed a gamble to open his account on his eighth start and give Downpatrick trainer Richard Curran a winner in the Bet At Handicap Hurdle.

The five-year-old, backed down from 20-1 to 9-2, made smooth progress for 7lb claimer Maxine O'Sullivan on the final circuit of the three-mile-one-and-a-half-furlong slog to jump into the lead two out and defeat Broadway Belle by seven lengths.

"He hadn't shown much at home as the ground has been so deep and we treated him for ulcers as well. It's probably a combination of that and the better ground that's brought about the improvement," Curran told Racing UK.

"I don't know whether some people had a lot of money on or not, but we didn't have any on him.

"The handicapper over here has given him a chance so we'll look to come here again for the better ground."

Cracking Find (13-2) rallied in gusty fashion to upstage Verni by two lengths in the Injured Jockeys' Fund Novices' Chase.

Sue Smith's charge had been headed by the 8-11 favourite going to the last after making the running to that point, but found extra for Danny Cook to subject Verni to second place for the fourth time in his last six starts.

Dica (5-2) made light of a 71-day absence to win for the fifth time since June in the Watch Racing UK In Stunning HD Handicap Chase.

The 12-year-old, owned and trained by permit holder Paul Collins, led from flag-fall and had no trouble seeing off Uno Valoroso by eight lengths to land the spoils under 3lb claimer Ross Chapman.

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