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TRADING POST: Tougher race may find out Amarula Ridge; plays of the day.

Byline: ANDREW BARR

Amarula Ridge 1.20 Wetherby Lay at up to 4.4 7 Found a weak chase to win on debut over fences 7 Stamina could be stretched by the softer ground 4 Significantly, makes the long trip up from Somerset I started by fancying three of the front four in the market in this novice handicap chase, so laying Amarula Ridge, the odd one out, appeals as the alternative strategy.

Although a useful miler on the Flat in Ireland in 2004, that old form has been a bit of a millstone in his hurdling career and, after getting beaten on his debut when odds-on, his limitations have been exposed.

Amarula Ridge made no mistake on his recent chase debut, but none of his rivals had a convincing profile and this is much tougher.

Itsuptoharry did well to make a race of it with Another Native at Haydock, and he shapes as if this drop to two miles will suit. Jimmy Bond may be less happy at the shorter trip but he handles the Wetherby fences very well, while Loulou Nivernais is a live player judged on his Kelso running, when he took a crashing fall when set to win.

His confidence should have been restored after a clear round at Sedgefield last time.

Osiris 2.40 Hereford Back 4 P otentially well treated over hurdles 4 Relishes soft ground 7 Unseated over hurdles when fluffing a similar opportunity last time Osiris improved considerably over fences after joining Evan Williams last winter, winning off a mark of 90 on his first start for the stable and ending with a win off 109 at Perth in June.

Clearly he is a potential 'good thing' back off a mark of 90 over hurdles, and in this 0-90 classified hurdle he actually meets several rivals on even better terms than he would in a handicap.

One blunder cost Osiris dear at Sedgefield, but he was going well at the time and is worth another chance over hurdles. He has won over three miles on heavy ground and should stay the longer trip in this grade.

Yes Sir 3.15 Hereford Lay for a place 7 Quick jumping leaves little margin for error 7 Jumped left at Fakenham, goes right-handed today 4 Very talented if getting into a rhythm 4 Drop in distance ideal The talented Yes Sir is more than capable of winning this hot beginners' chase if getting his act together, so I'm in no hurry to lay him in the win market. However, he is also capable of self-destructing, so try a place lay at short odds.

Yes Sir was a clumsy hurdler and he made a series of errors on his chase debut at Exeter, when perhaps unsuited by the right-handed track.

He was much better at left-handed Fakenham last time, setting a strong pace until outstayed close home, and he can improve over this shorter trip.

But there are plenty of serious rivals to push Yes Sir out of the frame if he makes mistakes. Don't Be Shy and Idole First were classy hurdlers, while Keepthedreamalive, Muhtenbar and Green Tango have all shown a decent level of chase form.

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12.15 Weth ......RUK 12.30 Hrfd ........ATR 12.35 Wolv ........ATR 12.45 Weth ......RUK 12.55 Thur ........ATR 1.00 Hrfd ..........ATR 1.10 Wolv ..........ATR 1.20 Weth ........RUK 1.25 Thur ..........ATR 1.30 Hrfd ..........ATR 1.45 Wolv ..........ATR 1.55 Weth ........RUK 1.55 Thur ..........ATR 2.05 Hrfd ..........ATR 2.15 Wolv ..........ATR 2.25 Thur ..........ATR 2.30 Weth ........RUK 2.40 Hrfd ..........ATR 2.50 Wolv ..........ATR 2.55 Thur ..........ATR 3.05 Weth ........RUK 3.15 Hrfd ..........ATR 3.25 Thur ..........ATR 3.25 Wolv ..........ATR 3.40 Weth ........RUK 3.50 Hrfd ..........ATR 3.55 Thur ..........ATR 4.00 Wolv ..........ATR 4.30 Wolv ..........ATR

CAPTION(S):

Amarula Ridge: had good Flat form in 2004 but has had his limitations exposed over jumps
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 5, 2006
Words:669
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Next Article:RP RATINGS: Prince R oscoe t o exploit lenient r at ing o ver fences; handicap snip Prince Roscoe 12.55 Thurles.


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