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Worcester Preview: El Macca looks the real McCoy

Unexposed gelding El Macca shaped with bags of promise on his seasonal reappearance and looks a worthy favourite to get off the mark in the 2m 4f handicap hurdle at Worcester today (3.50).

Trained by Rebecca Curtis, he caught the eye in three runs in maiden hurdles last season, leaving the distinct impression that El Macca would have plenty more to offer when going handicapping.

The five-year-old confirmed that view on his debut in that sphere earlier in the month over 2m at this venue when third of seven to Taaresh off an opening mark of 115.

Aftee being held-up, El Macca made headway to challenge three from home until hanging right approaching the last and being unable to find any extra to be beaten six lengths as lack of race fitness took it’s toll.

The son of Old Vic is sure to come on a bundle for that outing, his first for 198 days, and the step back up to 2m 4f looks sure to suit.

El Macca also remains open to bags more improvement after just four starts and, with 19-times champion jockey AP McCoy in the saddle, is going to be a very tough to beat.

Elsewhere on the card, trainer David Pipe holds claims of landing a double with Smiles For Miles and Bengali.

The former makes his debut over the larger obstacles in the novices’ handicap chase that opens proceedings (1.20) and could well have got in lightly off an opening mark of 101.

Six-year-old Smiles For Miles shaped with plenty of promise on his debut in a bumper at Uttoxter when fourth to the very smart Wilde Blue Yonder, and went on to run a series of solid races to finish in the frame over hurdles.

On each occasion, Smiles For Miles was considerately handled and not knocked about in contests run in testing conditions, and this afternoon’s quicker surface may well be what he needs to be seen at his best.

The son of Oscar also has the scope to be a better chaser than hurdler and, with the in-form Tom Scudmaore in the saddle, a big run looks on the cards for a stable going really well at present.

Bengali created a good impression when landing a bumper at Sedgefield on her debut and can defy a penalty to follow-up in the 2.20.

The five-year-old mare justified strong market support in no uncertain fashion when slamming Ardnahoe by nine lengths, travelling well throughout and finding plenty at the business end of affairs when asked to go about her business.

This contest doesn’t look any stronger, and the daughter of Beneficial – who is a half-sister to the smart hurdler/chaser China Rock – looks capable of giving weight all round to land the spoils before going on to even better things.

Selections:
1.20: Smiles For Miles (NB)
1.50: Un Anjou
2.20: Bengali
2.50: Magheral Express
3.20: Cash For Steel
3.50: El Macca (NAP)
4.20: Moral Hazard