Turf Talk: Bell Heather can blossom after handicapper relents

Richard FaheyRichard Fahey
Richard Fahey
Bell Heather can make a seamless switch to the all-weather with victory in the Brewin Dolphin Handicap at Newcastle.

Richard Fahey’s charge has won one of her 10 starts to date on turf and while that return could hardly be rated prolific, it at least shows she has a modicum of ability.

A winner on her debut at Lingfield last August, Bell Heather unsurprisingly found eventual Group One winner Ventura Storm too good on her second juvenile outing, but her efforts had encouraged the handicapper to award her a mark of 80 at the start of 2016.

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She initially found it tough going off that perch, before the assessor started to relent slightly and eased her a couple of pounds, a difference that has put her on the premises on her last couple of outings.

The Iffraaj filly twice finished behind Lincoln Rocks at Haydock and Hamilton in August, just lacking a change in gear to really take a hand in the finish.

However, her mark of 77 looks a little more workable and she is worth a try on this new surface, particularly as some of her better efforts have been on easier ground.

Sunglider could have something up his sleeve ahead of the Brewin Dolphin “Confined” Handicap.

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Yet to win in 10 career starts, he has at least placed on six occasions and is clearly not without some ability.

Trainer David O’Meara only made the switch to handicap company with his charge last month and while he has yet to really show his best, it must be noted that his current perch of 74 is some 11lb below his starting mark last August.

He finished fourth last time out after sitting a fair way off the pace, so slightly more positive tactics could be employed to good effect here.

Eternalist can employ her front-running style to good effect in the Lycetts Maiden Stakes.


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FONTWELL: 1.00 Lunar Flow, 1.35 The Organist, 2.10 Mystic Sky, 2.45 Innocent Girl, 3.20 Christmas In April, 3.55 Flemenskill.

HEXHAM: 1.10 Gayebury, 1.45 Billy Bronco, 2.20 Tenant Farmer, 2.55 Ten Trees, 3.30 Reverse The Charge, 4.00 St Gregory.

NEWCASTLE: 3.50 Sunglider, 4.20 Oberyn, 4.50 Eternalist (treble), 5.20 Galilee Chapel, 5.50 I’m Super Too, 6.20 Bell Heather (NAP), 6.50 Gaelic Wizard, 7.20 Slingsby.

WARWICK: 12.50 Pongo Twistleton, 1.25 San Satiro, 2.00 Blue Heron (next best), 2.35 Innoko, 3.10 Globalisation, 3.45 Ballydague Lady, 4.15 Melangerie.