Fontwell preview: Spa Hill weighted to open hurdles account
David Metcalf | November 25, 2015
Spa Hill can take advantage of a drop in the weights to open his account over the obstacles in the 2m 3f handicap hurdle on today’s card at Fontwell (14.10).
The gelding won a bumper in Ireland when trained by John Nicholson, and went on to run a series of solid races to make the frame over hurdles.
They included an excellent third of 15 to the now 145-rated Noble Endeavor at Punchstown, and a decent fourth of 18 to Todd at Limerick.
Spa Hill also ran well to make the frame in all four starts last year after joining Richard Woollacott, including when third on handicap debut at Plumpton off a mark of 110.
The assessor has since been very kind and dropped the six-year-old 5lb to 105, and that makes Spa Hill look dangerously well-treated on the pick of his form.
On his run behind Noble Endeavour, Spa Hill is potentially thrown-in at the weights and this weak class 4 handicap looks a golden opportunity for him to finally notch that elusive first hurdling success.
Matrow’s Lady worth a look
In the 2m 3f handicap chase (14.45), Matrow’s Lady can build on a promising comeback run to notch an overdue victory.
The Neil Mulholland trained mare is on a long losing run, having not scored since landing a handicap hurdle at Ffos Las back in February 2013 by 38 lengths off a mark of 110.
However, the eight-year-old is now able to race off a rating of just 86 as a result and comes into the contest on the back of an eye-catching third to Leith Hill Legasi in a class 4 contest at Chepstow earlier in the month.
Matrow’s Lady made good headway from the rear to hold every chance two from home, before being unable to find any extra on the run-in to be beaten just over four lengths.
It was a fine effort after 100 days on the sidelines and, if building on it, Matrow’s Lady is going to be hard to beat now dropped down into class 5 company in a race lacking any real strength in depth.
12.40: Clondaw Cian
14.10: Spa Hill (NAP)
14.46: Matrow’s Lady (NB)
15.20: Sporting Milan