Course Specialist Straidnahanna Set for Catterick Success
Northern trainer Sue Smith has a fantastic record at Catterick racecourse, and much of that is down to the brilliant 10 year old, Straidnahanna. This horse has ran at the North Yorkshire venue a total of five times, and come away successful on four of those, showing just how much he likes the course.
His running style is suited to how the track runs, his top quality jumping ability allows him to take lengths out of the field during a race and he has a jockey on board who knows the track like the back of his hand in Danny Cook. Both the horse and Danny excel from the front and that is the place to be around Catterick, especially over the longer distances which this horse runs over. Both are more than capable of stealing a race from the front and not seeing another rival, and that is exactly what I think they will do tomorrow.
The grey comes into this race off a handicap mark of 131, which is right where he needs to be to be competitive. His last win came at this track last February when he came away from the field nicely to score by nearly four lengths, and that came off a mark of 130. Two years ago he won the North Yorkshire Grand National at this venue off a mark of 132, a win which came under the jockeyship of Danny Cook.
Tomorrow’s race looks quite a competitive one for the grade, with impressive Doncaster winner Special Prep in the line up as well as Little Bruce, who ran nicely when behind another one of Smith’s runners, Sharp Response, in the North Yorkshire Grand National last month. Top weight Lovely Job is another interesting runner after a small break, and overall this is good quality action.
However, having said all of that, none of these horses have the intimate track knowledge of this course that Straidnahanna has, and that will be enough to see him home on Friday. He is on a winnable mark looking at what he has done in the past, and often comes to life around this time of the year. There is a lot in his favour tomorrow, and he rates the best bet on what is a decent, albeit small, Catterick card.