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Trading Post: Take the hint and get on Nic now he's back fencing.

Barton Nic

2.30 Folkestone

PUNTERS who latched on to the training skills of Paul Keane in 2004 were well rewarded, and Keane could also get off to a good start in the new year when he switches Barton Nic back to fences in the Ted Long Challenge Cup Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase at Folkestone (2.30).

Keane has done very well with Barton Nic over hurdles, winning five handicaps.

The first came over three miles off a mark of 76, the latest at Sandown in November over two miles off 120, so his versatility regarding distance is well established.

Now the shrewd Keane is understandably trying to exploit Barton Nic's potentially lenient chase mark of 83, which is over three stone lower than his current hurdle rating.

The trainer did the same last season when Barton Nic won a lowly handicap chase at Chepstow off 75, but thanks to some careful jumping the horse needed all of the two-mile trip to get on top that day.

Barton Nic disappointed on his next start over fences, but he is sure to have been well schooled again since then and today's two-mile-five-furlong trip on slow ground should give him plenty of time to warm to the job again.

Barton Nic's chance at the weights is blindingly obvious, that's for sure, and with the highly promising Nick Williams in the saddle and the opposition uninspiring, this looks an excellent opportunity to add to his winning tally.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 3, 2005
Words:244
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