Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Val Means Business; RACING PREVIEW

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Val Means Business; RACING PREVIEW

Article excerpt

Byline: NAOMI MATTHEW

VALMINA has been unearthed a nice opportunity at Kempton in which to rediscover the Midas touch.

Trained by the sagacious Tony Carroll, the four-year-old is clearly on the right side of the handicapper judged by his two outings this year.

Both runs have been at Wolverhampton, and over six furlongs, but the general consensus is that he could be suited by farther these days.

That was certainly apparent at Dunstall Park in February when he finished with a real flourish to take the silver medal in a solid sprint handicap.

While some might say he failed to kick on when sent back to Wolves later that month, his fourth-placed finish behind Tasmeem has a good look to it.

With the handicapper having taken another 1lb off his back for the Goffs Ready-To-Run Sale March 29th Handicap (7.30), the son of Val Royal is in receipt of plenty of weight from all bar one of his opponents.

Canni Thinkaar, meanwhile, must go close in the Garden of England Beginners' Chase at Folkestone (2.50).

Zoe Davison's representative has a fine record at the seaside circuit, and confirmed that course nous with a terrific display here on only his fourth start over fences.

The 10-year-old gelding gave the smart mare Asturienne an almighty fright when he made all of the running and only went down by a head.

Venetia Williams' form bodes particularly well ahead of next week's Cheltenham Festival, with Renard D'Irlande set to underline the point in the Play Blackjack At totesport.com Novices' Hurdle (3.25).

The six-year-old grey could not have won any easier over this course and distance in February and should readily defy a penalty if in a similar mindset.

Midnight Opera can dish out weight and a beating in the Daily Nicholls Festival Column On Betfair Handicap Hurdle at Wincanton (2. …

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