Newbury and Wolverhampton previews: Scorpion weighted to strike
David Metcalf | March 4, 2016
Scorpion can sting rivals on handicap debut at Newbury
Super Scorpion can take advantage of what looks a lenient mark to open his account over the obstacles in the 2m 4f handicap hurdle on today’s card at Newbury (16.30).
The Debra Hamer trained gelding has only had three starts over hurdles and shaped with bags of promise on each occasion.
After an eye-catching fifth when tenderly handled at Worcester, Super Scorpion made the well-regarded Wishfull Dreaming pull out all the stops when staying on strongly and going down by just 1/2 a length over 2m at the same venue.
The six-year-old has since gone to post another solid effort when finishing fourth of 16 to Le Prezien in a decent 2m maiden hurdle at Ludlow.
After racing at the head of affairs, Super Scorpion got outpaced two from home before staying on again to be beaten 14 lengths.
The winner is a useful sort rated 140, and the fifth home Will O’The West has come out and won twice since to be rated 127.
That makes Super Scorpion’s opening mark of 120 look exploitable, and the step up to 2m 4f looks sure to suit.
Gorse Island has plenty going for him
In the 2m handicap chase (15.25), Gores Island can take advantage of a drop in the weights to gain an overdue success.
The Gary Moore trained gelding truck twice over fences last year, with the last of those successes coming over 2m at Wincanton where he battled on tenaciously to score by 1/2 a length off a mark of 127.
Gores Island got put up to 134 for that victory and was far from disgraced off his revised rating when 10th of 20 to Irish Cavalier in a hot Listed class 1 handicap at the Cheltenham Festival.
The 10-year-old has gone on to finish in the frame in five of his six starts this season, being brought down on the other occasion, and having started the campaign off on a mark of 132 is now able to race off a reduced rating of 123.
That is 4lb lower than when last victorious and gives Gores Island every chance from a handicapping perspective on the pick of his form.
14.40: Hell’s Kitchen
15.15: Gores Island (NB)
16.20: Super Scorpion (NAP)
16.55: Monetary Fund
17.25: Only For Love
Ormanumps can open account at Wolverhampton
Trainer Mark Loughnane continues to be in good form and Ormanumps can provide him with another winner in the 6f handicap on this evening’s card at Wolverhampton (18.15).
The gelding is yet to get his head in front in nine starts, but did run very well to finish a 1 3/4 length runner-up over course and distance back in November off a mark of 48 and shaped nicely time out when third over 7f at the venue.
Ormanumps found himself poorly placed at the rear of the field in the latter after being awkwardly away as the gates opened, but stayed on strongly under inexperienced 7lb claimer Ryan Holmes to be nearest at the finish and beaten 2 1/4 lengths.
It was an eye-catching run given how the race panned out, and if building on it Ormanumps looks nicely treated off an unchanged mark of 46.
The booking of Shane Kelly to partner Ormanumps for the first time is also a positive and suggests connections mean business, and this is a very weak class 6 affair which represents a golden chance for the three-year-old to open his account.
Appease too well-treated to ignore
In the 1m 1f handicap (19.15), the well-treated Appease is a fascinating contender and can go well at a big price.
The gelding had some fairly useful efforts to his name in 2014 when trained by Jonn Butler, including when finishing a 3/4 length third in a class 4 contest over course and distance off a mark of 77.
Now trained in Ireland by Eddie Sheehy, Appease is able to race in this lower grade class 6 contest off a career-low rating of just 53.
That gives the seven-year-old a big shout at the weights, especially if the fitting of the blinkers for the first time have the desired effect.
Connections have also secured the services of Graham Gibbons to do the steering, and that looks a big positive at a venue which he rides particularly well.
17.45: Pao De Acuca
18.15: Ormanumps (NAP)
19.15: Appease (NB)
19.45: Sands Chorus
20.15: Bint Arcano