Worcester preview: Fort Worth siding with on handicap debut
Trainer Jonjo O’Neill does well with his runners at Worcester, and the promising Fort Worth can provide him with another winner at the track in the 2m 4f handicap hurdle there today (15.50).
The Jackdaws Castle handler has a strike rate of around 20 per cent at the venue in the past 12 months, saddling 11 winners and seven placed from 56 runners.
In Fort Worth he has an unexposed and exciting prospect who looked a horse with a big future when winning his first two starts under rules.
The gelding looked one to keep onside when landing a bumper at Huntingdon in good style back in November 2013, and confirmed that view on his hurdles debut at Wetherby last October when overcoming a 356 day absence to score impressively.
After being held-up in mid-division, Forth Worth cruised into contention three from home and showed a smart turn of foot after the last to quickly put the race and score by three lengths despite running green.
The six-year-old then came to grief three from home when last seen in action at Market Rasen back in March when still travelling strongly, and now makes his handicap debut off what looks a workable opening mark of 126.
With Richie McLernon in the saddle, and the prospect of plenty more improvement to come, For Worth can take this before going on to better things.
O’Neill can complete a double on the card with Wait A Second in the conditional jockeys’ novices’ handicap hurdle (17.50).
The gelding has shaped with plenty of promise in four runs over the obstacles without being unduly knocked about, most notably when a 3 1/4 length runner-up to the now 127-rated Chosen Well at Chepstow.
Wait A Second also posted a really solid effort to finish runner-up to the 122-rated Benissimo at this venue last time out, and based on those runs the son of Scorpion looks to have got in lightly on handicap debut off an opening mark of 113.
The five-year-old also now gets fitted with the cheekpieces for the first time, and has the services of Maurice Linehan in the saddle who is terrific value for his 3lb claim in this type of contest.
Taking it into account, Wait A Second looks weighted to take all the beating.
14.50: Lord Of The Dunes
15.20: Joe Farrell
15.50: Fort Worth (NAP)
16.50: Minority Interest
17.50: Wait A Second (NB)