Take Whitehaven for the win

Whitehaven can open his account over obstacles at the second attempt for Donald McCain in the Pelissier Maiden Hurdle at Carlisle.

Trainer : Donald McCain
Trainer : Donald McCain Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

The Le Havre gelding was a fair sort on the Flat for Hughie Morrison, with five wins and a handful of placed efforts seeing him achieve a not inconsiderable rating of 82.

He was runner-up to Mccain's Navajo Pass on his most recent start on the level at Haydock in October, and less than a fortnight later the Cholmondeley snapped him up for 35,000 guineas.

Whitehaven was introduced to the jumping game at Catterick on New Year's Day and shaped with plenty of promise in finishing third behind Matchless and Legendary Day, who has since won on the all-weather.

Given McCain's charge has winning Flat form over two miles, this switch to a stiffer track ought to suit and he should prove hard to beat in the hands of champion jockey Brian Hughes.

Altobelli is fancied to remain unbeaten in the Brown Novices' Hurdle.

Winner of a bumper at Exeter for Harry Fry a year ago, he was then off the track for 300 days before making a winning hurdling debut at Ffos Las.

The trek to Carlisle from Fry's Dorset base will be a long one, but the prospect of just about the softest ground in the country has tempted connections to make the trip and it should prove worthwhile.

Hourvari appears to have been found an excellent opportunity to get off the mark at Lingfield.

Olly Murphy's charge performed with credit in each of his three races in the bumper sphere – and while he finished out with the washing on his hurdling debut at Newbury, there was plenty of encouragement to be taken from third placed finish behind Teddy Blue at this track three weeks ago.

That form was given a significant boost when the winner finished third in the lucrative Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on his next start, making Hourvari difficult to oppose as a result in the At The Races App Form Study Maiden Hurdle.

Fame And Concrete will not be winning out of turn if he can land the At The Races App Expert Tips Handicap Hurdle.

The Southwell bumper winner has finished second in his last three races without doing much wrong and an opening rating of 106 for his handicap debut looks workable, especially as a step up in trip could enable him to take his game to another level.

It will be interesting to see how Casa Luna fares on her handicap debut on the Newcastle all-weather.

The Starspangledbanner filly was fourth behind subsequent Winter Oaks heroine Al Agaila on her introduction at Kempton in December and has since finished third in a couple of novice events at Chelmsford and Lingfield.

She was recently bought out of Roger Varian's yard for the relatively modest sum of 16,000 guineas by Phil Kirby and she may give her new connections an immediate return on their investment in the BetUKs Acca Club £5 Free Bet Handicap at Gosforth Park.

United Force can make it third time lucky in the talkSPORT Download The App Novice Stakes.

The Showcasing colt was beaten just half a length into third place on his Southwell introduction and the winner, Berkshire Phantom, has since followed up in a handicap at Wolverhampton.

United Force again had to make do with minor honours when filling the runner-up spot here earlier in the month, but will not need to improve much if at all to break his duck.


CARLISLE: 1.15 WHITEHAVEN (NAP), 1.45 Altobelli, 2.15 Paddy The Horse, 2.45 Paddy's Fancy, 3.15 Marown, 3.50 Marsh Wren, 4.25 Piaff Bubbles.

LINGFIELD: 1.30 Hourvari, 2.00 Fame And Concrete, 2.30 Lincoln Lyn, 3.00 Ceci Wells, 3.35 Hector Jaguen, 4.10 Often Overlooked, 4.45 Felton Bellevue.

NEWCASTLE: 5.00 Casa Luna, 5.30 Lady Lavina, 6.00 Sir Benedict, 6.30 United Force, 7.00 Connie R, 7.30 Martin's Brig, 8.00 Storm Master.

DOUBLE: Whitehaven and Altobelli.

Racing and Sports