Signs look good for Pensnett Bay at Towcester

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Pensnett Bay was successful at this weekend’s Towcester card last year and all the signs are that the Jo Hughes-trained eight year-old can make history repeat itself on Sunday when the action is due to get underway at 2.20pm.

The eight-year-old gelding is trained by Hughes and her partner Paul Blockley in Upper Lambourn and won twice at Towcester last term, scoring on Boxing Day in a handicap chase before landing a novices’ handicap over a longer trip two months later.

Tough and a resolute galloper who can grind away in front, Pensnett Bay has not been cut much slack by the handicapper, racing off a mark of 107 when his last victory came off 96.

However, he returns to a course where he is effective and is more certain than most to handle soft conditions in the Jerry Moynihan Memorial Handicap Chase which is a £5,000 Sunday bonus race.

Pensnett Bay (pictured) has been ridden by jockey Mark Grant in his last seven outings, most recently a second at Lingfield in November behind the progressive Pete The Feat, so he has been given a decent break since his last action.

Venetia Williams’ horses are still in excellent heart and the Ross-on-Wye handler has made five entries for Sunday including a brace of possible in the feature contest, where Mentalist or Last Shot will doubtless be warmly supported.

Perhaps though, she will be on the mark with the consistent Rydalis in the 2m 6f Kevin Sullivan Forum Novices’ Handicap Chase.

Trainer Jamie Snowden has also proved himself as a man capable of sending out Towcester winners this winter and the Lambourn handler has Major Milborne entered for the concluding 2m Follow On Facebook And twitter ‘Newcomers’ Standard Open Hunt Flat Race at 5pm.

Major Milborne is a half-brother to Towcester winner Miss Milborne as they share the same dam in Motown Melody.

Keeverfield showed a decent level of front running form at Towcester in May when second to Stop The Show and Jo Foster’s sprightly 12 year-old could attempt quick follow-up to his Market Rasen success over fences on Sunday when switching back to the smaller obstacles in the Reiki Healing With Clare Handicap Hurdle over 3m. Keeverfield has been partnered in his last nine runs by in-form jockey Samantha Drake.