15:30 Fontwell

Tapley had to play second fiddle to a Gary Moore-trained horse at Plumpton last week and it could well be Suzy Smith’s grey suffers the same fate up against AURIFEROUS (best price 15/8), who shaped really nicely on his hurdling debut at Huntingdon 10 days ago.

A useful stayer on the Flat when trained by Andrew Balding, the son of Golden Horn was well-supported to make a winning start to his new vocation and although that looked like materialising at any stage, he did more than enough to indicate he has a bright future at the Winter game.

A little novicey early on, the five-year-old gradually warmed to the task as the race progression and by the time the field had turned for home, he’d worked himself a position of respectability. From two out, Jamie Moore was at pains to give his mount as easier a time as possible but despite not too much effort being exuded, the five-year-old came home quite strongly to finish within striking range of the main players.

Time-wise, the race at the Cambridgeshire venue turned out to be well above-average for the grade and with the distinct likelihood of even more to come now racing over further, Auriferous can strike at the second time of asking at track where his stable don’t often leave empty handed.

Auriferous - 2pts

19:00 Wolverhampton

TOTHENINES (best price 6/1) has cut a slightly frustrating figure of late with a whole host of fine placed efforts next to his name but, having taken on some pretty stern tests on board along the way, tonight’s seemingly less taxing affair might enable him to finally gain his just reward for his consistency.

Since re-joining the all-weather scene in October, Karl Burke’s gelding has yet to run a bad race and, with most of his efforts coming in competitive and strongly run affairs where there has been little margin for error, his time-figure portfolio has been stacking up extremely favourably.

That said, his tendency to be a little slow away has been his undoing on several occasions and over six and seven-furlongs when the pace has been unforgiving, he has found it difficult to get himself involved in the finish.

Sent up to a mile for the first time at Southwell last time out, the son of Dandy Man once again found himself in an uncompromising position rounding the home turn but to his great credit, he picked up nicely in the straight and in a race that contained some seriously hot al-weather talent for the grade, his never-nearer fifth has to go down as one of his better efforts.

Putting it another way, any of the first four home that day would be a short priced favourite to win a race of today’s nature and with most bookmakers offering four places for this competitive mile contest, the four-year-old can be expect to fill one of those positions at the very least over a trip that he’s proved he now stays well.

Tothenines - 1pt e/w