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Brave Barizan targets Market Rasen Summer Hurdle

Barizan is developing quite a following after his well-deserved victory in the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock in May. The gelding has been a familiar name to jump racing fans ever since he was caught in the closing stages of the Triumph Hurdle in 2009.

Having started his career with John Oxx, Barizan came into his own under Evan Williams when winning six hurdles as a juvenile. He was agonisingly caught close home by Soldatino at Cheltenham but gained compensation in the Champion four-year-old hurdle at Punchestown.

Since then, he has won over fences and become more amenable to restraint during his races. Paul Moloney will be happy to take a lead in this hotly contested handicap but Barizan won’t be far off the pace.

Top weight Local Hero won this race 12 months ago has a big pull in the weights after finishing third in the Haydock race. Paul Bohan takes off a further 7lbs but connections are concerned that the going may be on the fast side.

Tony McCoy is in the familiar colours of JP McManus to partner Coffee, the winner of two modest events for Jonjo O’Neill. This marks a big step up in class but he could be well in off just 10st 10lb.

Tzora has a similar profile after winning nicely at Newton Abbot and should give Nick Scholfield a good ride. John Ferguson’s Sea Lord is on a four-timer after clocking up victories at Southwell, Huntingdon and Worcester.

Australia Day switches back over hurdles after setting a furious pace at Sandown on the flat before finishing third last time out.

Other consistent performers include Sue Smith’s Baccalaureate and the bottom weight Tom Wade. David Pipe runs Street Entertainer and War Singer whilst David O’Meara’s Roman Flight is fit from the flat.

Evan Williams has a second string to his bow in the form of Zarzal, but this one needs to improve on his run at Stratford in April. The Cockney Mackem represents the Twiston-Davies yard and the veteran Hi Dancer completes the 14-runner line up.