Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Cole can be the king of the Castle at Southwell

Harlech Castle can shrug off a 6lb penalty by bringing up the hat-trick at Southwell.

The Paul Cole-trained three-year-old takes his chance in the toteexacta Handicap and could not be in better form.

Cole’s Royal Applause colt returns to action just seven days after his waltz in Catterick, where he supplemented a Nottingham victory on October 16 with any degree of comfort.

Given the office by Shane Kelly two furlongs from home, Harlech Castle defied a 4lb rise to defeat Splash The Cash by two and a half lengths.

Cole’s sprinter has another penalty to address in Nottinghamshire but it often pays to stick with sprinters on a hot streak - and this one clearly fits the bill with title-chasing apprentice David Probert taking off a valuable five pounds.

The Kyllachy Kid is also an animal firmly on the upgrade and has been presented with another winning opportunity at Catterick.

Trainer Tom Tate has done a fine job with this juvenile, who has held his form consistently well since June.

He was still without a victory, however, until connections elected to drop him back down to six furlongs at Ayr last time.

Tate’s two-year-old gelding showed plenty of zip that day to skim over the heavy ground and land what was a good maiden by three and a quarter lengths.

Given the speed he showed in Scotland, a first-time try over five furlongs should hold no terrors in the Go Racing At Doncaster This Saturday Nursery.

Exeter stage an utterly appealing six-race card, on which the William Hill Gold Cup Chase takes top billing.

The Grade Two contest will always carry a sombre postscript - it was the race in which Best Mate lost his life three years ago - but it rarely disappoints in terms of luring big names to the table.

Flagship Uberalles, Edredon Bleu and Azertyuiop have all obliged in recent times, with Best Mate’s triumph in 2001 adding further lustre to the roll of honour.

Twist Magic may never reach such dizzying heights, but Paul Nicholls’ chaser is certainly worth more than a cursory glance for this assignment.

Considered in many quarters to have been desperately unlucky not to have won the 2007 Arkle, the six-year-old responded in the best possible way with three victories on the spin - including in the Tingle Creek last Christmas.

Things nosedived quite spectacularly, however, as he jumped poorly in the Victor Chandler Chase before struggling once again in the Champion Chase at Prestbury Park.

Twist Magic thankfully muted the dissenting voices at Punchestown, where he signed off for the season with a feisty Grade One triumph.

Significantly, that success was achieved on far better ground than his two disappointments earlier in the term.

Nicholls is adamant further progress will be forthcoming this term and it would take a brave man to argue otherwise.

That Twist Magic has also been working pleasingly at home in tandem with Kauto Star can also only be considered a positive.

Despite having to give plenty of weight all round, he looks the class act in this line-up.

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