Hexham Preview: Tom primed for marathon mission
Outlaw Tom holds outstanidng claims of landing the Northumberland County Chase at Hexham today (1.50) for a second time.
The Lucinda Russell trained gelding is an out and out stayer who landed this 4m contest in 2012 when ploughing through the mud to beat Double Default by 2 1/4 lengths off a mark of 107.
The 10-year-old is now able to race off just 2lb higher having since landed another two victories at this venue.
One of those successes came off a rating of 112, and that makes Outlaw Tom’s current mark of 109 look very exploitable.
The son of Luso also comes into the contest on the back of a cracking second at Ayr, and his handler is sure to have this race as his early season target for some time.
With testing condtions holding no fears, and Peter Buchanan in the saddle, Outlaw Tom looks the one they all have to beat.
In the 2m 4f handicap hurdle (2.20), the mud-loving W Six Times looks worth siding with on seasonal reappearance.
The Alistair Whillans trained mare showed improved form at the beginning of the year, finishing third on heavy ground at Sedgefield before being beaten just 1/2 a length by Ancient Times at Ayr.
The eight-year-old then opened her account in emphatic style when returned to the latter track and scoring by seven lengths on bottomless ground off a mark of 79.
Although now 9lb higher than when last successful, W Six Times’ current mark of 88 should not be beyond her judged on the manner of that success.
It’s also interesting that jockey Callum Whillans, who was unable to use his 5lb claim that day because it was a conditional jockeys’ contest, is now able to do so.
Taking that into account, W Six Times is effectively just 4lb higher and weighted to run a huge race on ground that holds no fears.
1.20: It’s High Time
1.50: Outlaw Tom (NAP)
2.20: W Six Times (NB)
2.50: Amethyst Rose