Carlisle Preview: Urban Hymn can call the tune
Urban Hymn makes his eagerly awaited chasing debut in the 5.00 at Carlisle today and looks a worthy favourite to make it a winning one.
The gelding was a point winner at Larkhill when in the care of Richard Barber, and developed into a really useful sort last season after joining Malcolm Jefferson.
The six-year-old ran out an impressive six length winner of a bumper on his first start for the North Yorkshire based handler, before finishing a cracking second at Spirit Of Shankly on hurdles debut at Haydock.
Urban Hymn then opened his account over the obstacles with a facile 20 length success at the same venu, and followed up with a game short-head success in a classy Grade 2 contest at Doncaster.
The son fo Robin Des Champs was then far from disgraced when last seen in action at the Cheltenham Festival when seventh of 18 to Very Wood in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, and has always looked the type that will do better over fences.
Today’s 2m trip is probably on the sharp side for him, but the stiff track and testing conditions are going to make it a real test and Urban Hymn has the class to come through it with flying colours.
The obvious danger is the Nicky Richards trained Duke Of Navan, but Urban Hymn remains open to bags more improvement after just five runs under rules and is fully expected to land the spoils before going on to even better things.
In the 2m 1f handicap hurdle (3.25), Tikkandemickey has plenty going for him.
The Raymond Shield trained gelding was a consistent sort last season, winning twice and finishing in the frame on five occasions from seven starts.
The first of those successes came on seasonal reappearance, where the eight-year-old overcame a lengthy absence to win going away by seven lengths in a handicap hurdle at Hexham on soft ground off a mark of 110.
Tikkandemickey backed that up with a solid 6 1/2 length third to Seeyouatmidnight in novice hurdle at the same venue off an official rating of 119, and that race has worked out extremely well.
The winner went on to land another two contests, including a Grade 2 at Haydock and is now rated 151, and the runer-up Regal Encore subsequently finished fourth in the valuable Imperial Cup at Sandown and is officially rated 131.
That is very strong form in the context of this class 3 contest and makes Tikkandemickey’s current mark of 120 look exploitable, especially as he went on to easily land a novice hurdle at Hexham by eight lengths off an official rating of 117 back in March.
Another plus is that fintess is very unlikely to be an issue given Tikkandemickey’s two career successes have come after lay-offs of 281 and 57 days, and with soft ground also holding no fears everything points to a huge run.
2.50: The Magic Bishop
3.25: Tikkandemickey (NB)
4.00: Cool Operator
4.30: Langley House
5.00: Urban Hymn (NAP)
5.30: Court Dismissed