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Thirsk Preview: Mud-loving Uncle Brit weighted to go well

Uncle Brit has become dangerously well-handicapped and with underfoot conditions to suit can take advantage to land the spoils in the 1m handicap at Thirsk this evening (7.30).

The Malcolm Jefferson trained gelding is a three-time winner over the trip, and the last of those successes came on good-to-soft ground at Newcastle 13 months ago off a mark of 59.

Uncle Brit went on to finish placed off marks as high as 63, and now gets into this contest off just 54.

That gives the eight-year-old, who has plenty of solid form in testing conditions, every chance at the weights.

Although Uncle Brit has failed to trouble the judge in three runs this season, the son of Efisio should now be spot on to do himself justice and every drop of rain that falls at the track will be in his favour.

In the 2m amateur riders handicap that gets action under way (5.25), Short Takes looks worth siding now returned to the level from what could well be a lenient mark.

The gelding failed to trouble the judge in four runs on the flat back in 2010/11 when trained by John Gosden, but has won three times over hurdles since joining Cheshire-based Donald McCain.

Two of those wins have come this year on soft ground and Short Takes is now officially rated 115 over the sticks.

The six-year-old is a able to race off a mark of just 62 in this contest, and that makes Short Takes look well-weighted if transferring the improvement he has shown over hurdles back to the flat.

Sheriff Of Nawton was in terrific form earlier in the season and can get back to winning ways following a break in the 1m handicap (8.00).

The David O’Meara trained gelding left his maiden form well behind when easily landing a gamble on handicap debut at Catterick, and followed up in facile fashion under a 6lb penalty on soft ground over a mile at Redcar.

The three-year-old then got tuned over at odds-on when runner-up to Golden Spear at the same venue, but that run came on fast ground and may well have come too quickly.

Connections have since given the son of Lawman an 84 day break to freshen-up, and with underfoot condtions to suit Sheriff Nawton should be capable of winning a race of this nature off his current mark of 73.

Selections:
5.25: Short Takes (NB)
6.00: Only Joking
6.30: Aussie Ruler
7.00: One Boy
7.30: Uncle Brit (NAP)
8.00: Sheriff Of Nawton
8.30: Katie Taylor