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Saturday 16 December 2017

Stay Local and expect to earn a Hero’s welcome

FEW would begrudge Local Hero a big payday in the Bond Tyres Stakes at York.

Trained by Steve Gollings, the Grade Two-winning hurdler has made a fine return to the Flat since finishing second in the Scottish Champion Hurdle in April.

The five-year-old Local Hero needs to be held up to be fully effective and a strong 12-runner cast has been lured to the dancefloor at the Knavesmire, with horses like Constant Contact and Qahriman usually keen to get on with things.

This factor, allied to a step up to a mile and three-quarters, should be just enough to give jockey Robert Winston the necessary boost to get home in front.

Amanda Perrett has her team in fine spirits, with Sir Mike taken to give the Pulborough handler another winner at Goodwood. Sir Mike is clearly a talented animal, with the longer trip in the Levy Restaurants Stakes expected to unlock further potential.

Time should soon tell that he is a far better horse than his inaugural mark of 80 would suggest.

Mazeppa should also be respected in the M&F Funeral Services EBF Maiden Stakes at Musselburgh.

The Keith Dalgleish-trained youngster has shown a good level of form in two starts, finishing in the money on both occasions.

Such was the manner in which he kept on over five furlongs at Catterick last time, little wonder Dalgleish has ramped him up in distance by two furlongs.

Although the drying ground might also help his cause, he looks versatile enough to cope with anything but extremities.

Monty Fay can finally end his long winless run in the Premier Food Courts Maiden Handicap at Chepstow. The Derek Haydn Jones-trained three-year-old has been highly tried, but is still searching his first victory after 14 tries.

He came quite close over five furlongs here last month, though, when second behind Trending – for which he has gone up 2lb.

Monty Fay was not stopping at the line that day, so the return to six furlongs looks a good piece of business.

Jocasta Dawn’s ability to handle a quagmire could potentially stand him in good stead for the Mediforce Independent Ambulance Handicap at Sandown.

Sunday City is a confident pick to secure back-to-back renewals of the Trophies At Inkerman Handicap Chase at Aintree.

The Peter Bowen-trained 11-year-old claimed this two-mile event on Merseyside off 2lb higher, and is clearly bubbling along nicely for a repeat bid.

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