Today’s free tip is below.
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Here’s today’s selection
2:40 Catterick – Supreme Escape
Neither Catterick not Bangor provide much in the way of betting fodder on Thursday, but the former does host the Vickers.Bet North Yorkshire Grand National, and to paraphrase the first letter of St Peter, love [of a marathon chase] covers a multitude of sins.
The runner which has particularly caught my eye in the big race is the Evan Williams-trained SUPREME ESCAPE, accepting that he’s not lived up to expectations thus far over fences. The run which is key to him is an excellent victory over this trip at Chepstow last March under James Bowen. That race has thrown up several subsequent winners, with the runner-up scoring off the same mark recently, and fourth-placed I See You Well winning two staying handicap chases since that run. The selection has not come close to repeating that since, but there are a number of factors which could see him back to form.
Supreme Escape was perhaps out of his depth in the Bet365 Gold Cup on his next start, and was unfancied when well held over hurdles on his return from a break at Aintree in the autumn. He was out of the handicap for both those races, as he was behind Welsh National winner Iwilldoit last time, and this represents a significant drop in class. James Bowen is back on board, and the gelding is tried in severe headgear for the first time. That looks a good move, as he can come off the bridle early in his races, while Williams has a decent record with his chasers when utilising a visor.
Evan Williams showed he had his horses in good fettle with the win in the veterans’ final at Sandown of Prime Venture last weekend – that horse another who had been running poorly until headgear was refitted there. The yard is rarely represented at Catterick, but has had a couple of winners and as many places from just ten runners there since 2017/18. Better still is the stable’s record in chases beyond 2m when James Bowen rides, with form figures in the past two years of 111211 including two wins on this horse.