Wednesday’s race of the day – Preview and tips for feature Chase at Catterick


Jon Vine takes a look through the runners in the big Novices’ Chase at Catterick and provides readers with his tips for Wednesday’s race of the day.

As part of our Daily Tips service, I’ve taken a look through the runners in Wednesday’s feature at Catterick and tipped a former course winner to score again at the Northern venue. Best odds available here with William Hill.

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Wednesday’s Race Of The Day

Before Midnight

Won just one of his six starts over hurdles, but finished a close second behind three useful sorts in Cotswold Way, Tidal Flow and Aye Right. Made chasing debut in competitive race at Leicester. Jumped left at times, but was right there jumping the last, before fading on run to the line. Drop back in trip seems sensible. Soft ground could be a worry though.

Crixus’s Escape

Reached peak rating of 128 over hurdles after winning Class 3 Handicap at Ayr in March. Comfortably beaten in two starts this term and now switches to fences. Could make a decent chaser, but more talented and progressive options here.

Diamond Fort

Ran consistently in staying handicap hurdles last term. Was going well enough at the front on chasing debut before falling four out. Was in there pitching at the last on most recent start, but couldn’t muster the finishing pace over two-and-a-half miles. This trip around this sort of track may prove a little stiff.

Return Ticket

Scored in a bumper here back in 2017. Won two novice hurdles last term and came close to carrying a triple-penalty to victory at Newcastle in March. Beaten 19-lengths on chasing debut behind Sam Spinner. Was then thrown into Grade One company at Sandown and found out again. This looks a much easier race. Should be competitive.

Schiehallion Munro

Caught the eye at times over hurdles and has produced the best form of these over fences. Beat a future winner on debut at Wetherby, before going down to 143-rated Knight In Dubai at Doncaster. Wasn’t at his best over two miles last time, but did enough to win a modest race and should appreciate extra distance here.

The Some Dance Kid

130-rated novice hurdler. Has finished last of five on both starts over fences though. Beaten 40-lengths behind Brewin’upastorm, before 13-length defeat to Schiehallion Munro here in November. Hard to see how he’ll reverse that form.


Return Ticket has much more to offer than what he’s shown so far over fences and both course and distance should suit. Before Midnight wasn’t beaten far in a good race on his chasing bow and should contend here, if he takes to the soft ground.

That being said, the solid proposition in today’s race of the day is SCHIEHALLION MUNRO (9/4 William Hill), and Micky Hammonds’ charge looks a good bet to make it three-from-four over fences.

Hammond’s gelding comfortably saw off a future winner by six-lengths over course-and-distance here, before running another good race behind a classy sort in Knight In Dubai. Schiehallion Munro did enough to get the job done over two miles at Newcastle. Stepping back up to this trip will suit and softening ground won’t be an issue either.