O’Brien hoping to have Champagne popping in Worcester final
Worcester hosts the Fixed Brush Hurdle Series Final on Friday, while there is valuable evening Flat action from Newcastle, all live on Sky Sports Racing.
3.40 Worcester – Give Me A Moment and Presentandcounting clash
With £38,000 on offer to the winner of the Download Vickers.Bet App Fixed Brush Hurdle Series Final Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (3.40), it is no surprise to see a competitive field of 13 line up for the two-and-a-half-mile feature.
Fergal O’Brien leads the way in the jumps trainers’ championship after another busy summer with Pop The Champagne among the stars of his early season campaign with four consecutive victories between June and August, including at this track. Kielan Woods comes in for the ride.
Leading jumps jockey and defending champion Brian Hughes partners hat-trick seeking Presentandcounting from the Donald McCain team, while Richard Bandey’s Give Me A Moment is also attempting to make it three wins in a row over hurdles.
In total, nine of the 13 runners won last time out including Harry Fry’s course and distance winner San Giovanni.
Top weight Light N Strike made a winning return over the smaller obstacles at this track last month and could be dangerous off a mark of 130.
1.20 Worcester – Twig and Found On feature among four
After taking three runs to find her feet over fences, Martin Keighley’s useful mare Found On notched up three consecutive victories between March and May and returns to the track with three to beat in the Bob Love King Of The Dirt Novices’ Chase (1.20).
Trainer Ben Pauling is operating at more than a 30 per cent strike rate so far this season and will hope to add to his tally with dual Hunter Chase winner Twig – one of those two victories over the larger obstacle came over this course and distance.
Twig’s jumping experience could prove key against exciting chase debutant Arrivederci, for the Jonjo O’Neill team, a high 130s-rated hurdler at his peak last year when finishing second in the Grade Three Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle at Ascot.
Charlotte Fuller’s Skandiburg is another useful type who returns to chasing after a failed switch two years ago for former trainer Olly Murphy.
6.15 Newcastle – Stand Strong and King Me contest valuable maiden
There is a hugely valuable £27,000 up for grabs to the winner of the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes (6.15) at Newcastle, where we could see a potential star of the future.
Saeed bin Suroor runs Cracksman colt Stand Strong, hoping to build on a promising debut third behind subsequent Group Two winner Marbaan at Salisbury in July.
Mark and Charlie Johnston run two in the race, including Haydock runner-up King Me, whose debut form is already working out with the third – Lion Kingdom – coming out and winning at Wolverhampton last week and the fourth – Tellateller – running well at Epsom next time.
Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Blanchland steps up to a mile for the first time after going down narrowly to U S S Constitution at Ascot earlier this month.
Qatar Racing include the John and Thady Gosden-trained colt Maasai Mara, who looks to be another promising type by the ill-fated sire Roaring Lion.
Watch every race from Worcester and Newcastle live on Sky Sports Racing on Friday, September 23.