Race of The Day Wednesday July 11
16:102 miles (3200m)

Turmeric Handicap (For The Turmeric Challenge Trophy) (Class 4)


  • Current Favourite  Bal de Rio
  • Current Odds 3/1
Race Analysis Runners 7 Going Good to Firm Distance 2 miles (3200m)

Race Overview

A Class 4 staying handicap run over two miles on this sharp North Yorkshire track that is rather more undulating than many people anticipate. Catterick doesn’t really suit long striding horses and is more akin to Chester in having tight turns that require an athletic horse, although the two-and-a-half furlong hom straight gives an opportunity for horses to get balanced and set sail for home.

This £11,600 contest is open to three year olds and upwards rated 66-85.

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Favourite Bal de Rio

Ran consistently over hurdles during the winter before landing two AW handicaps over two miles at Newcasstle. Solid third last time out on turf at Musselburgh and looks set to play a major role in proceedings.

Other Contenders

Italian Riviera has won four times at this track and clearly thrives here, while top weight Kensington Star shouldn’t be far away if things go his way. Further down the list, Airton and Stormin Tom have claims in what is a trappy affair.

Race Analysis

This race very much resolves around whether or not the nine-year-old ITALIAN RIVIERA will be able to defy a further 6lb rise have won twice over course and distance over the last couple of months. Kenneth Slack, a trainer with a tremendous strike rate under both codes, has performed wonders with this horse since he joined the yard from Ireland in September 2016, winning six races from 12 start, including two handicap hurdles and three staying handicaps on the Flat at Catterick, as well as another hurdles success at Kelso.

The ground will be plenty quick enough for this gelded son of Galileo, but with question marks over most of his rivals he should again make a serious bid for top honours and gets the vote.

Stormin’ Tom has run well on three of his four starts this term without managing to get his head in firit, his only below-par run coming when dropped back to 1m6f on his penultimate start. Last time he again ran with credit when third at Chester over two miles and runs off the same mark under the capable apprentice, Rachel Richardson.

Top weight Kensington Star is well handicapped on the form of his two efforts at this trip last season, including when fourth in the valuable Northumberland Bowl, the consolation race for the Northumberland Plate. It’s not hard to envisage him running a big race for Keith Dalgleish.

Bal De Rio won twice on the All Weather track at Newcastle over this trip in the early spring and was by no means disgraced when third at Musselburgh early last month. He should stay and handle conditions but there is a suspicion the handicapper may have taken his measure. Airton was a beaten favourite last time at Newcastle over a mile-and-a-half and has yet to convince that he truly stays this trip, but if there isn’t much pace he may have enough left at the business end of the contest to get involved.

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Betting.net Selection

Italian Riviera
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Betting.net Danger

Kensington Star

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Paul Alster Betting.net

Written by Paul Alster

Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.