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Dark Horses: 14th Feb

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1:00 Catterick – East Street

Sue Smith has her team in fine form with a 19% strike rate in the last 2 weeks and if you were to back all her runners at Catterick this season, it would return over £40 profit to a £1 stake.

EAST STREET made a winning start to his career under rules when landing a Wetherby Novice hurdle in November, which can be upgraded as the race was run at a steady gallop over a trip that is far shorter than ideal based on his pedigree. He made his 2nd start at Newcastle a month later when he finished 2nd to Since Day One, a very talented Donald McCain horse who has won again since.

Trying to concede a penalty to such a talented rival was too much to ask, but he kept on to hold 2nd place and had King of Unicorns, a bumper winner last time out, back in 3rd. He enters handicaps on a very workable mark of 108 and the step up in trip on a more galloping track should suit. 

3:15 Omar Maretti

This is a top-quality staying handicap chase for a Monday afternoon and on the figures, it looks to concern the top 3 in the weights.

Marown has an absence to overcome, and a wind operation would suggest that may have caused the issue for his poor performance when last seen in April. Whilst Almazhar Garde threw away the North Yorkshire National here last time despite travelling like the winner throughout and is starting to become frustrating. That should leave the race open for OMAR MARETTI.

He is the most obvious improver in the lineup and his victory at Newcastle last time, when he beat Come on Teddy and Hold the Note is easily the best form on offer. He is 3-4 under rules and looks to be rapidly improving for Alex Hales, so it will be a surprise if he doesn’t come out on top here at the weights.

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