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Catterick Preview: Pearl looks a real gem

There is some competitive flat racing action at Catterick today, and Cadeaux Pearl looks to hold outstanding claims of scoring an overdue success in the sprint handicap that closes the card (5.20).

Scott Dixon’s gelding has not won since landing a 5f contest at Epsom on soft ground back in April 2012 off a mark of 83.

However, that was in a class 3 contest and he now gets into this lower grade class 6 affair off a career-low mark of just 57.

That is a huge 26lb lower than when scoring at Epsom and makes him look dangerously well-treated.

The six-year-old is also 1-1 over course and distance, and has the services in the saddle of the useful Matthew Hopkins who takes another 5lb off his back.

Another plus is that the son of Acclamation has plenty of solid soft ground form in the book, and everything looks in place for a huge run.

In the 7f handicap at 4.20, Mick Easterby’s Old Man Clegg is a fascinating contender having dropped markedly in the weights.

The four-year-old only has one win to his name, with that success coming in a 7f nursery on good-to-soft ground at York back in August 2012 where he stayed on well from off the pace to beat Salutation by a short-head off a rating of 67.

He was put up 6lb for that success to a mark of 73, and it’s fair to say that he was very disappointing last year.

However, he did put in one really solid run to finish a two length third of 16 to Lancelot Du Lac over 7f on good-to-soft ground at York off a mark of 71 and the winner is now rated 103.
That is very strong form, especially as Old Man Clegg now runs off a career-low handicap mark of 62.

If he can reproduce that run then he would be the one the all have to beat, and with the trip and conditions holding no fears he looks a big each-way player in a wide open contest.
Another that looks to hold leading claims on a trappy card is Naburn in the 1m 6f handicap at 3.20.

Trained by the in-form Alan Swinbank, the gelding is just 3lb higher than when winning by 3 1/2 lengths over course and distance last September.

He shaped as if needing the run when third on the fibresand at Southwell last month after 133 days on the sidelines, and that should have put him spot on for today.

His main danger would appear to be Derek Shaw’s Arashi who is a consistent sort on the all-weather and looks nicely weighted now returned to the turf.

However, the fact that Naburn has winning form to his name at the track gets him the vote on this occasion.

Selections:
2.20: Late Shipment
2.50: Orient Class
3.20: Naburn (NB)
3.50: Joe Eile
4.20: Old Man Clegg
4.50: Satanic Beat
5.20: Cadeaux Pearl (NAP)