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Worcester preview: Temple to Lord it over rivals

Trainer Jonjo O’Neill does well with his runners at Worcester and Temple Lord can cash-in on a lenient mark to provide him with another success in the 2m 7f amateur riders’ handicap hurdle on today’s marathon eight-race card (17.55).

The Jackdaws Castle handler has a strike rate of just under 20 per cent at the venue in the past 12 months, and in Temple Lord has a gelding who shaped as if returning to form on his belated British debut over hurdles last time out.

Temple Lord was a four-time winner over the smaller obstacles in France in the early part of his career and sent off favourite for Grade 2 and Grade 1 contests on his final two starts.

The nine-year-old then joined O’Neill and was campaigned over fences, winning twice and been placed on 12 occasions.

Having been rated as high as 127, Temple Lord’s last win came at this venue back in August 2013 off a mark of 117.

Temple Lord is now able to race off a career-low of just 97, having shaped better than his finishing position of fourth suggests last time at Southwell when getting outpaced three from home and stumbling badly at the second last before keeping on to be beaten 7 3/4 lengths.

If he can build the son of Califet looks weighted to take all the beating.

In the other 2m 7f amateur riders’ handicap (17.25), Newton Martini looks decent value to open her account.

Trained by Ben Pauling, the mare has shown improved form in her last two starts, and posted a career-best effort when third to Billy Congo over 3m 1f at Taunton when last seen in action.

The seven-year-old attempted to make all and after being headed two from home kept on to be beaten 7 1/2 lengths.

The winner, from whom Newton Martini was receiving just 1lb, has gone on to score twice since and is now rated 113.

That gives the form a strong look in the contest of this class 5 contest, and makes Newton Point look potentially thrown-in at the weights off a rating of 79.

Selections:
14.10: Killimordaly
14.40: Amuse Me
15.15: Ennistown
15.50: Theatre Flame
16.25: Yes Daddy
16.55: Mrs Burbidge
17.25: Newton Martini (NB)
17.55: Temple Lord (NAP)