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It is Towton Day at Wetherby on Saturday, with the Towton Novices' Chase being the feature race of the meeting at 2.30pm. The West Yorkshire racecourse hosts a seven-race card which takes place between 12.50pm and 4.10pm and the official going has been described as Good, Good to Soft in places heading into the meeting and the Racing Post previews the full race card.




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12.50 - William Hill Best Odds Guaranteed Novices' Hurdle (2m3½f)

It is a novice hurdle contest to begin the card at Wetherby and Dancing With Deco, OUR JET and Rafferty's Return all come into this race on the back of victories.

Dancing With Deco broke his maiden on his opening appearance over hurdles at Exeter (2m½f). That success came on heavy ground. Conditions will be much different this time, so he does need to prove himself on faster ground.

Our Jet represents the strong stable of Dan Skelton. He prevailed in style at this course last month in a 2m contest. That was his first outing since having a wind-op, and he looked a much better horse. The Lodge Hill runner is now stepping up in trip, but there is likely to be more improvement from the novice.

Selection: Our Jet

Next Best: Dancing With Deco


1.22 - William Hill Home Of The Acca Handicap Chase (2m3½f)

There are just four runners for this handicap chase over the extended 2m3f trip, but it is a fascinating race.

Paint The Dream began the season with an impressive nine length victory at Chepstow, but he has been unable to follow it up in two outings since. He is now back down to a mark which is just 1lb higher than his success.

A C&D victory arrived here for SCHIEHALLION MUNRO on Boxing Day. He was up with the leaders from very early into that contest and was very game at the finish, scoring by three lengths. A 4lb rise in the ratings may not be enough to stop him from coming out on top once again at this course.

Selection: Schiehallion Munro

Next Best: Paint The Dream

1.58 - Wilmot-Smith Memorial Mares' Novices' Hurdle (2m)

Seven runners line up for this novice hurdle and all of these mares are bidding for their opening success over obstacles.

Prime Time Lady made a promising debut over hurdles when she finished second of 10 runners over the extended 2m trip at Bangor last month. She looked to bump into a smart runner from Olly Murphy's yard and connections will be hopeful of another big showing.

All eyes will be on MISS LAMB on her hurdles debut. This horse was successful twice last season in bumpers.

She ended her campaign by finishing third of 15 in a Grade Two contest at Aintree. If she transfers her form across to her hurdling campaign, she will prove difficult to beat in this race.

Selection: Miss Lamb

Next Best: Prime Time Lady


2.30 - William Hill Towton Novices' Chase (3m - Grade 2)

The feature race of the day has attracted four runners. We could get Cheltenham Festival and Grand National clues here as some of these novices have entries for those big meetings.

With consecutive victories this season, Saint Palais has been in excellent form over fences. He has been making a mockery of his handicap mark, including when he completed his hat-trick over the longer trip of 3m2f at Newbury.

Richard Bandey's runner deserves his shot at this Grade 2 contest, and he has to be respected.

Grade One winner hurdler AHOY SENOR has had a mixed campaign over fences. He looked the real deal when scoring by 31 lengths at Newbury at this level in November.

A couple of mistakes over his fences meant he had to settle for second place behind Bravesmansgame at Kempton in the Grade One Kauto Star Novices' Chase.

Lucinda Russell's gelding remains a big player for the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March. He is sure to set the tempo in this race and is likely to have too much class for his three rivals.

Selection: Ahoy Senor

Next Best: Saint Palais

3.00 - William Hill Pick Your Places Handicap Hurdle (2m3½f)

In five starts over hurdles, Jack Sharp has yet to finish outside the placings. He has been in contention in each of those outings but has only scored once. His sole success came at Uttoxeter (2m4f) back in November.

Alastair Ralph's gelding remains open to improvement. The handicapper has kept him off the same mark as his runner-up finish at Doncaster (2m3½f) on his latest effort. Expect to see him in the mix again as they jump the final hurdle.

Olly Murphy is represented in this handicap hurdle by NO RISK DES FLOS. The seven-year-old scored for the third time over hurdles when prevailing by a neck at this course back in December.

The gelding is now going up in trip as he looks to defy a 2lb rise in the ratings. He was staying on strongly at the back end of his race here on his latest outing, so is likely to appreciate the extra distance.

Selection: No Risk Des Flos

Next Best: Jack Sharp


3.38 - Stratstone Harrogate Open Hunters' Chase (3m)

Law Of Gold was in excellent form in 2021 before he took a break from action. He prevailed in a point-to-point at Garthorpe (3m) and then recorded back-to-back successes in hunters' chases at Fontwell and Stratford respectively.

David Kemp's runner has to carry top weight on his return to action as he bids to continue his unbeaten run. Dale Peters is able to claim 3lb, which will help. He is back down to 3m and as long as he fit on his seasonal reappearance, he is a strong contender for this race.

Preference does go to DUBAI QUEST who will be having just his second start under Rules. The nine-year-old has won six of his 10 appearance in point-to-points, so he knows where the winning line is.

The nine-year-old made his debut under Rules at Fakenham 12 months ago. He came out on top by 14 lengths, and he looked the winner of that race a long way from home.

This horse did appear in a points contest back in December which means he should be sharp and ready for this assignment.

Selection: Dubai Quest

Next Best: Law Of Gold

4.10 - Stratstone Harrogate Open National Hunt Flat Race (2m)

Rathmacknee was successful on his second start in a point-to-point at Kirkistown back in May. He made virtually all in that race. Since then, he has moved to Nicky Henderson's yard and is set for his debut under Rules.

The Seven Barrows team always have to be respected with their newcomers in these bumpers. The son of Jet Away is an obvious runner for the shortlist.

DR SEB has the benefit of already having one run this season. He finished third of eight runners on his debut at Bangor back in October and the form of that race has worked out well, as the horses which came home fifth and sixth have since come out and won.

There were signs of greenness from Olly Murphy's runner on his opening start. Now he knows what it is all about, expect to see a better performance, which could be good enough to take the first prize.

Selection: Dr Seb

Next Best: Rathmacknee


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