Hexham preview: Seventeen Black can leave rivals in a spin
Seventeen Black scored with a bit in hand last time out, and defy a 5lb rise in the weights to follow up in the 2m handicap hurdle on this evening’s card at Hexham (21.10).
The Stuart Coltherd trained gelding took advantage of a reduced mark to land a gamble at Perth when beating Solway Prince with more to spare than the winning margin of 1 3/4 lengths suggests.
After being held-up towards the rear, the seven-year-old made steady headway after the fourth to challenge two from home before staying on strongly on the run-in to win going away at the line despite edging right.
It was an effort which suggested Seventeen Black was ahead of the assessor, and a 5lb rise could well be on the lenient side.
Indeed, Seventeen Black’s current rating of 79 is 16lb lower than his initial handicap mark, so granted a clear round the son of Subtle Power is likely to prove tough to beat.
In the 2m 4f maiden hurdle that opens proceedings (18.10), Mondlicht can take advantage of a drop in class to open his account over the obstacles.
The gelding showed useful form when winning his two starts on the flat when trained by Mark Johnston, and has shaped with plenty of promise in two starts over hurdles since joining John Ferguson.
In the last of those, Mondlicht finished a solid third to the now 122-rated Gran Maestro in the class 4 contest over 2m 1f at Fontwell.
That form sets a clear standard in this lower grade class 5 contest, and the the five-year-old also looks open to further improvement now stepped up in trip.
Elsewhere on the card, Bescot Springs looks weighted to take all the beating in the 3m handicap hurdle (19.40) if putting his best foot forward.
The Lucinda Russell trained gelding is a moody sort, but has run well to finish third in his last two starts over fences and now returns to the smaller obstacles off his last winning mark.
That success came in a class 3 contest at Perth, where the 10-year-old kept on strongly to score by 4 1/2 lengths.
Bescot Springs is now able to run in this lower grade class 5 affair off the same rating of 100, and that gives him a huge shout of getting back in the winners’ enclosure.
18.10: Mondlicht (NB)
18.40: Burnt Sienna
19.10: Rev Up Ruby
19.40: Bescot Springs
20.10: Morning Time
20.40: Twice Lucky
21.10: Seventeen Black (NAP)