Silent Steps and Baraza among Tuesday tips for Fontwell and Uttoxeter

David Metcalf | 6 December 2016

Silent Steps can lead Fontwell rivals a merry dance

Silent Steps makes her eagerly awaited debut under rules in the 2m 3f mares’ novices’ hurdle at Fontwell today (14.40), and is strongly fancied to make it a winning one.

The five-year-old fell on debut in an Irish point at Dromahane before bolting up in a 3m contest at Liscarroll by five lengths.

Silent Steps travelled supremely well at the head of affairs in the latter, before drawing clear on the run-in to beat Coillte Lass with any amount in hand.

The runner-up went on to land a point next time up and is unbeaten in two starts since joining trainer Paul Nicholls, whilst the third home Queens Well has subsequently run well to make the frame behind a couple of useful types in two spins over hurdles.

It gives the form a strong look and Silent Steps has since joined handler Nicky Henderson and is reportedly held in very high regard and been working well at home.

With the yard in flying form she can take this en route to better things.

Silent Steps is held in very high regard since joined handler Nicky Henderson.

Silent Steps is held in very high regard since joined handler Nicky Henderson.

Global Thrill handicapped to strike

In the 2m 1f handicap hurdle that gets proceedings underway (12.40), Global Thrill looks decent value to take advantage of a drop in the weights and get back to winning ways.

Trained by Bernard Llewellyn, the seven-year-old was in good form in the spring of 2015 when scoring at Newcastle before going on to finish a solid sixth length second of six to Arzal at Chepstow.

Although not match for the easy and classy ill-fated winner in the latter, Global Thrill stuck to the task well and the pair pulled 20 lengths clear of the third home Perspicace who has won twice since and is now rated 117.

The selection was allotted and opening handicap mark of 128 on the back of that run and it’s fair to say he struggled last season.

However, that has resulted in the assessor cutting Global Thrill plenty of slack and he is now able to race off a career-low of just 102.

It gives the gelding major claims from a handicapping perspective, especially now dropped back down to class 4 company having shaped as if needing the outing on return to action at Kempton last month in a class 3 contest.

Fontwell tips

12.40: Global Thrill (NB)
13.10: Lough Derg Island
13.40: Volpone Jelois
14.10: Pete The Feat
14.40: Silent Steps (NAP)
15.10: Slidecheck
15.40: Denny Kerrell

Baraza poised to open his account at Uttoxeter

Baraza was a big eye-catcher last time out and rates a solid bet to open his account in the extended 2m 3f novices’ handicap hurdle on today’s card at Uttoxter (14.30).

The Tom George trained gelding failed to trouble the judge in his first three starts over the obstacles but did hint at ability in the first two of those.

After finishing a tenderly handled four on hurdles debut at Bangor, Baraza was far from disgraced when eighth of 17 to the hugely exciting Winter Escape in a warm contest at Doncaster.

Although eventually beaten 27 lengths, the five-year-old raced close-up for most of the race until weakening late on.

Plenty of subsequent winners have emerged from that contest and its was a run which suggested Baraza was a potential improver when going down the handicap route.

That view was confirmed when he finished a fine 1 1/2 length fourth of 14 to Culm Counsellor on return to action at Exeter last month.

Baraza looked an unlucky loser as he made a bad mistake three from home when travelling strongly and then ran green in the closing stages.

It was an effort which suggested the son of Smadoun was ahead of his current mark of 99, and Baraza is certainly bred to be better than it being a brother to top-class chaser Nacarat.

Tom George's Baraza is a great shout to open his account.

Tom George’s Baraza is a great shout to open his account.

Cobra De Mai value to cash-in on class drop

Cobra De Mai looks nicely treated on the pick of his form and decent value at the odds on offer to cash-in on a drop in class and land the spoils in the extended 2m 3f handicap hurdle (14.00).

Trained by Dan Skelton, the four-year-old charge opened his account over the obstacles at the second time of asking last season when scoring in good style at Wetherby and went on to round off the campaign with a solid second in a class 2 handicap at Newbury off 118.

Cobra De Mai then ran very well on seasonal reappearance when a 6 1/4 length fourth of eight to Diego Du Charmil in a hot class 2 handicap at Chepstow off 120, and the runner-up and fifth home have both won since to give the form a boost.

The selection also ran much better than the finishing result suggests last time out when fifth to Byron Flyer in a class 3 at Doncaster, racing keenly in the early stages and being allowed to stride on far too early four from home and paying the price late on when ridden by Bridget Andrews.

Cobra De Mai has since been dropped 1lb to 119 and that makes him look well-weighted on his Chepstow effort now dropped down into class 4 company.

Another huge plus is that the gelding now gets the professional services of Skelton in the saddle, who partnered him to victory at Wetherby, for the first time this season.

Uttoxeter tips

12.30: Theatre Territory
13.00: Whispering Harry
13.30: Champers On Ice
14.00: Cobra De Mai (NB)
14.30: Baraza (NAP)
15.00: Altesse De Guye
15.30: Neon Wolf


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