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Monday 5 December 2016

Get that Summer feeling with Drop Out Joe

However, Menorah has never convinced over three and a quarter miles and Ballynagour needs to prove he is in better form than last winter. (Stock photo)
However, Menorah has never convinced over three and a quarter miles and Ballynagour needs to prove he is in better form than last winter. (Stock photo)

Quality jumps racing is a rarity at this time of year but there is a cracking John Smith's Summer Cup at Uttoxeter which can go to Drop Out Joe.

Charlie Longsdon's charge won two valuable prizes early on last season, at Chepstow and Wincanton, and the key feature of those is that the ground was decent.

Despite the time of year there was still a chance conditions could have been against him in this £80,000 feature, but while most of southern England is under water, Uttoxeter has missed it.

Gone are the days when the lesser lights could make these summer races easy pickings - two Grade One winners head the weights for this to prove that point.

However, Menorah has never convinced over three and a quarter miles and Ballynagour needs to prove he is in better form than last winter.

Tom Scudamore has deserted him for Katkeau and it is easy to see why, given the way he stayed on gamely to beat Gas Line Boy at this track two months ago. That said, he was all out that day and has gone up 7lb.

Last year's winner Shuil Royale would have been of interest but he went up 7lb for winning a lesser race at Newton Abbot which means he is 9lb higher than 12 months ago in a better race.

Drop Out Joe was fancied for the Grimthorpe Chase after his two big wins but trying to make all off a mark of 151 was too much and he showed little in two further runs.

He has, however, been dropped to a mark only 1lb above his Badger Ales Trophy win and is always best fresh.

Nicky Henderson has a few interesting runners on the card and his Nicolas Chauvin might be the best of them in the Bet365 Handicap Chase.

Henderson's eight-year-old is on the up, winning at Huntingdon in May.

This is tougher but he simply must have fast ground to be seen at his best and this has likely been a target for some time.

CARTMEL: 2.20 What A Game, 2.50 Ethelwyn, 3.20 Make It Happen, 3.55 Toledo Gold, 4.25 Minella Present, 5.00 Rocknrobin, 5.30 Roja Dove.

CURRAGH: 2.15 Moritzburg, 2.45 Chemical Charge, 3.15 Sea Wolf, 3.45 Elusive Beauty, 4.20 Minding, 4.55 Kimberella, 5.25 Cymro, 5.55 Bold Thady Quil.

UTTOXETER: 2.00 Dynamo, 2.30 Barman, 3.00 Ennistown, 3.30 DROP OUT JOE (NAP), 4.05 Jawahal Du Mathan, 4.35 Nicolas Chauvin, 5.10 Mr Caffrey, 5.40 Fly Camp.

WINDSOR: 2.10 Dame Judi, 2.40 This Is For You, 3.10 Blue Suede, 3.40 Goodwood Zodiac, 4.15 Storm Rock, 4.45 He's My Cracker, 5.20 William Hunter.

DOUBLE: Drop Out Joe and Blue Suede.

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