Mountain Hawk has yet to fire over fences but has completed all three of his starts over the larger obstacles and stayed on to finish fourth last time out.
He was rated 120 not so long ago over hurdles and, as a result of his three modest efforts over fences, is now running off a rating of just 105 here despite carrying top weight, which is an indication of this contest’s modest nature.
He won his novice hurdle on good ground and should get similar conditions here, and Brian Hughes is obviously a significant booking, so the signs are he should go well.
Little Bruce has almost certainly been laid out for this and has the look of a good thing to me. He is the youngest horse in the field and was an improving young stayer in novice events last season as he ran very well at Cheltenham on his penultimate start plus he finished runner-up in this contest last year.
His in-form trainer, Phil Kirby, ran him over hurdles on his seasonal debut where he finished an encouraging third and his rating of 132 over fences remains intact for this race.
There really is nothing else with a similar profile in this race and I expect him to defeat a field of modest northern stayers here who are very unlikely to improve.
This one is a speculative selection and will hopefully be a big price. He ran well enough over this course and distance and under this jockey on his penultimate start to think he can win a race off a plater’s mark.
A seven-furlong horse on the flat, he has looked to just about get the trip over hurdles but has found heavy ground and the punishing home straight at Wetherby too great a test on a couple of occasions, but on what will hopefully be good ground back at a sharp track and in the lowest grade he has contested, he might get placed at least.
Dave's three top tips for Catterick:
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