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Carlisle Preview: Shutthefrontdoor can make winning return

Shutthefrontdoor has a good record and can make his class tell to make a winning reappearance in the 3m graduation chase at Carlisle today.

The Jonjo O’Neill-trained gelding enjoyed a good first season over fences last year, winning first time up at Aintree before going on to land the Irish Grand National on his final start of the campaign.

The seven-year-old kept on well under Barry Geraghty to beat Golden Wonder by 3/4 of a length in the ultra-competitive 26-runner contest, and his long term aim this year is a Crabbies’ Grand National at Aintree.

That may suggest that Shutthefrontdoor will not be fully wound-up for this, but the son of Accordion has won eight of his 13 starts and two of those have been first time out.

Shutthefrontdoor is also very well suited by the conditions of the race, as he is rated 8lb and upwards clear of his rivals but able to race off level terms with the two closest to him in the ratings.

Another plus is that Shutthefrontdoor handles the track having won on his sole previous visit over hurdles, and with Geraghty once again in the saddle this looks a nice opening for him to notch another success.

In the bumper that closes the card (4.00), Corner Creek is a fascinating contender on debut for in-form trainer Michael Scudamore and looks worth siding with in what looks a hot contest for the grade.

The gelding was bought for £100,000 after winning his sole start in an Irish point at Toomebridge where he showed an impressive turn of foot on heavy ground to easily beat Kilgeel by four lengths.

The runner-up is a nice sort who has since joined Oliver Sherwood and finished an excellent second over hurdles last time out to the highly regarded Rock The Kasbah, and that suggests it was a decent contest.

Given the manner in which Corner Creek readily brushed aside Kilgeel, the son of Presenting could be a very smart performer in the making.

Not many horses can quicken like he did on such testing ground, and conditions today will clearly hold no fears.

Corner Creek does face two race fit rivals in Bronco Billy and Court Dismissed who shaped like future winners when runner-up last time out, but with the Scudamore yard in such good form I don’t think he will be found
wanting through lack of fitness and fancy him to come good at the first time of asking for his new handler.

Selections:
12.45: Rowdy Rocher
1.15: Assirem
1.50: Ifandbutwhynot
2.25: Asuncion
3.00: Shutthefrontdoor (NAP)
3.30: Whats Up Woody
4.00: Corner Creek (NB)