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The Notebook: Paint the Clouds tops off big week for Greatrex

| 20.02.2015

Operating at a strike-rate of 26.6 per cent, this season is turning into a successful one for Warren Greatrex, with Cole Harden and Dolatulo doing their bit by adding Graded success for the Berkshire handler.

And while his campaign on the whole has looked bright for Greatrex, this week has seen a couple of horses who could be adding big race glory to his CV in the near future.

But he’s not alone when it comes to some excellent showings in the last few days.

Talent runs in the family for Three Faces West

A full brother to the very useful handicap chaser Forgotten Gold, Donald McCain’s Three Faces West was bred to be a decent animal.

And he certainly looked that when making all in Carlisle’s Novice Hurdle on Monday.

The front three pulled a long way clear from the chasing bunch and it was Jason Maguire to urged his mount to repel any challenge to his lead.

Now two from three over hurdles, this one is one to watch.

Parlour Games’ Neptune hopes take a boost

As if John Ferguson’s horse’s Challow Novices’ Hurdle form didn’t look strong enough already, Greatrex inmate, One Track Mind certainly put it beyond doubt on Tuesday.

Well beaten in that Newbury contest, the five-year-old attracted plenty of market support, eventually going off 30/100 favourite for the 2m4f contest.

With plenty of adept hurdling, Gavin Sheehan’s mount was able to take hold from the front, forging clear and being eased down in the closing stages to win by 6l.

The 7/1 for a Parlour Games Neptune win could look a big price in three weeks’ time.

McCoy at his magical best

Since announcing his imminent retirement, AP McCoy is certainly not going quietly.

We’ve seen it countless times over the last 20 years, and the famous McCoy drive was hard at work again at Doncaster on Wednesday.

Jumping the second-last onboard Milan Bound the pair looked beat, sat in a well-held sixth.

But what the frontrunners weren’t accounting for was the urgings of the Champ to rouse his mount home, in the type of ride racing fans will undoubtedly miss when he’s gone.

Foxhunters second-favourite demonstrates his talents

What was a competitive looking Hunters Chase including the likes of the formerly top-class pair of Quinz and Calgary Bay was turned into somewhat of a procession on Wednesday.

Paint The Clouds, current 6/1 second favourite for the Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham looked a notch above them both when being eased down to success.

His Upper Lambourn yard’s decision to switch him to fences, with the 10-year-old now unbeaten in six over the large obstacles, and has nine wins from his last 10 outings in all codes.

Festival success would put the cherry on the cake for the lightly-raced type, although he is likely to have to do it without recent partner Sam Waley-Cohen if his father’s Warne takes in the contest at Prestbury Park.

Geraghty a Different Gravey

AP McCoy make take most of the plaudits in the riding department, but it’s fair to say Barry Geraghty is one of the few that can give him a run for his money.

Nicky Henderson’s retained rider was hard at work on Different Gravey from a fair way out in Thursday’s Listed Novices’ Hurdle at Huntingdon.

His efforts were not in vain though, for when the penny dropped, the five-year-old forged clear in taking fashion.

His staying power looks assured, and he looks a ready-made staying chaser for the future, but he will certainly have to jump better if he is to succeed at the highest level, having clattered the last two hurdles when under pressure at the Cambridgeshire track.

All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.