Catterick preview: Beer Goggles looks tasty on handicap debut
David Metcalf | December 2, 2015
Beer Goggles caught the eye last time out and can take advantage of what looks a lenient mark to open his account in the 2m 3f conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle that opens proceedings on today’s card at Catterick (12.20).
The Micky Hammond trained gelding shaped with plenty of promise when placed in three bumper runs last season, and has shown definite signs of ability in three starts over the obstacles during this campaign.
In the last of those at Wetherby, Beer Goggles kept on under tender handling to finish a never nearer 29 length fourth of 14 to Royal Vacation.
The winner is a useful sort rated 128, and the runner-up Bollin Ace has run well to be placed in two subsequent outings and is now rated 120.
That represents strong form in the context of this class 4 contest, and suggests that Beer Goggles’ opening handicap mark of 103 is exploitable.
The four-year-old certainly looks to have been brought along steadily with handicaps in mind, and unlike the majority of his rivals remains open to further progression.
Beer Goggles also has the services of Craig Nichol in the saddle who is one of the best conditionals in the country, and everything points to a huge run.
Aregra to take heart from recent rise
In the 2m 3f handicap chase (12.50), Aregra can build on a promising run last time out to land the spoils.
The Peter Niven trained gelding has only had two starts over the larger obstacles, and after shaping with plenty of promise when fifth on the first of those at Southwell posted a really solid effort when runner-up to So Bazaar at Sedgefield when last seen in action.
Aregra went down fighting by just 1/2 a length, and the pair pulled eight lengths clear of the field.
It was an effort which suggested the five-year-old was well up to winning a race of this nature, and although now 5lb higher in the weights Aregra remains well-treated on the pick of his form.
The son of Fragrant Mix was rated as high as 97 over hurdles, but is now able to race off 20lb lower.
That gives Aregra major claims from a handicapping perspective, especially as he remains unexposed over fences and is improving with each run.
12.20: Beer Goggles (NAP)
12.50: Aregra (NB)
13.20: Romain De Senam
14.50: Cyrien Star
15.20: Bon Genre
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