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Whitcliffe is still a maiden as he makes his twelfth racecourse start. He has come close on previous occasions and now runs off a mark of 62.
The race appears to be an open contest, with many horses running to a similar level of late. However, with the addition of first-time cheekpieces and the step up to 1m6f, this could be the perfect opportunity for the Charlie & Mark Johnston-trained gelding to record his first victory.
1:30pm Catterick – Whitcliffe 1pt win @ 4/1 (most firms)
Another open race on the card at Catterick comes in the 2:30pm handicap run over 6f. There are plenty with a chance in the contest, but the nod goes to seven-year-old Embour for Ruth Carr. He appeared out of his depth last time out in a higher-class contest at Ripon, but prior to that finished a respectable sixth in a competitive handicap at Goodwood.
Last month he finished third at the track, giving winner Oso Rapido 2lbs. Their weights are reversed here, with the Roger Fell-trained gelding 1lbs higher this time out and Embour now running off a mark of 80, 3lbs lower than when he last featured here. He was given plenty to do on that occasion but couldn’t make up ground on the front two. If able to stay closer to the leaders in the closing stages he may well be able to show the speed required to be competitive in the finish.
2:30pm Catterick – Embour 0.5pt E/W @ 15/2 (most firms)
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