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Nottingham Preview: Hazelrigg can strike for in-form Easterby

Trainer Tim Easterby has his team in terrific shape and Hazelrigg can take advantage of a lenient handicap mark to provide him with another winner in the 5f contest that opens proceedings on today’s card at Nottingham (1.30).

The gelding is not the easiest to win with, but a useful sort when things do drop right, as he showed when last successful at the Ayr Gold Cup festival 13 months ago in a class 4 contest off a mark of 73.

Nine-year-old Hazelrigg stayed on strongly to beat Imperial Legend by a neck in a competitive 24-runner affair, and now gets into this lower grade class 5 contest off 8lb lower.

This gives Hazelrigg major claims from a handicapping perspective, and the son of Namid comes into the contest on the back of four solid efforts.

They include a cracking seventh of 20 to Expose in a class 4 contest at Doncaster off a 71 rating 71, and a solid one length third of 17 to Oscars Journey at Nottingham 14 days ago off today’s mark of 65.

That latter run suggested that Hazelrigg’s time was near and, with underfoot conditions ideal, this looks a golden opportunity for him to score an overdue success.

Monsieur Jamie shaped really well last time out, and looks the one to beat in the 5f handicap (2.00) now he’s dropped back down in trip.

The John Jenkins trained gelding is a course and distance winner who scored twice in 2013, with his last win coming off a mark of 70 on soft ground at Lingfield.

Six-year-old Monsieur Jamie now gets into this off just 2lb higher, having shaped as if ready to strike when fourth of 16 to Divine Call over 6f at Bath earlier in the month.

Monsieur Jamie showed plenty of pace before being unable to find an extra inside the final furlong only to be beaten 2 1/4 lengths, and the drop back to 5f looks sure to suit as all six of his career successes have come over it.

The son of Monsieur Bond has also bagged a good draw in stall 14, and the booking of Adam Kirby suggests connections mean business as he has won on three of his last four rides for the stable.

With the soft ground also holding no fears, Monsieur Jamie’s credentials look rock solid in contest lacking any real strength in depth.

Selections:
1.30: Hazelrigg (NAP)
2.00: Monsieur Jamie (NB)
2.30: Mister Arden
3.00: Storm The Stars
3.30: Dubai Star
4.00: Deepsand
4.30: Valentine’s Gift