Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mister Can Improve on Carlisle Marker; Journallive.Co.UK Racing Saturday, March 94 MOSCROP ON SATURDAY

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mister Can Improve on Carlisle Marker; Journallive.Co.UK Racing Saturday, March 94 MOSCROP ON SATURDAY

Article excerpt

IT has been a cruel winter for Greystoke trainer Nicky Richards, who has suffered more than most in the icy grip of Cumbria. Unable to get his string out because of the snow and frost, he sent a few horses down to Newmarket for a temporary stay so that they would be forward enough to take up their engagements.

As for those who stayed at home, they have been playing catch-up since the weather relented and, consequently, winners have been in short supply.

So there was some relief in the Richards' camp when Mister Marker popped up at 14-1 at Carlisle nine days ago.

This was his second win of the season, and the runner-up came out at Ayr two days later and advertised the form by going one better.

Mister Marker gives the impression he has more to offer and will appreciate the return to three miles for the Guinness Handicap Hurdle at Newcastle today.

Richards, who had a double on the corresponding card last year, has always regarded the six-year-old as a decent prospect and, with relatively few miles on the clock, it's fair to assume that further improvement is in the pipeline and he can defy an 8lb hike in the ratings in what is a better race than at Carlisle.

Bold Ransom is another lightly-raced performer and seems at his best over three miles and beyond. Whether the ground is soft enough for him remains to be seen, but he runs off the same mark as when chasing home Dancing Dik at Wetherby. He has every chance of taking his revenge on his conqueror on these revised terms.

Better known as a chaser, Bold Ransom was being aimed at the Eider Chase last month, which was abandoned, and he was also engaged in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter today, but probably the conditions weren't going to be ideal.

No doubt trainer Keith Reveley will have another big handicap in mind over fences for him and is protecting his chasing mark (5lb higher than over hurdles) even if he wins this hurdle prize.

Akilak paid the penalty for a course victory under a cheeky ride from Denis O'Regan last season, and has struggled since. …

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