Of The Hook worth following in UK debut

Parsnip Pete was a clear winner in the Maxilead Metals Handicap Chase at Aintree. Picture: Grossick Racing
Parsnip Pete was a clear winner in the Maxilead Metals Handicap Chase at Aintree. Picture: Grossick Racing
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IRISH recruit Of The Hook can make a successful first foray on to British terrain by securing ­victory at Ayr this afternoon.

Now in the care of Rebecca Menzies, the six-year-old looked pretty useful on his sixth ­attempt over fences when he finished second in a handicap chase at Ballinrobe. Of The Hook is clearly progressing nicely and is seemingly perfectly at home on good ground.

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An extended two-and-a-half miles in Follow At BetVictorRacing On Twitter Handicap Chase looks just the ticket.

Streams Of Whiskey affords respect and optimism in equal measure when he runs in the Play Casino At BetVictor.com Handicap Chase. Nicky Richards’ inmate must shoulder top weight, but the manner in which he stuck on earnestly to take a valuable Haydock prize in April bodes well for the season.

Versatile in terms of ground conditions, Streams Of Whiskey has gone well as a fresh horse before in the past so fitness should not be an issue. This looks an ideal starting point before Richards can broaden his horizons.

At Aintree yesterday, ­Parsnip Pete repeated his Grand ­National meet triumph with a clear-cut win in the Maxilead Metals Handicap Chase. Winner of the Red Rum Handicap Chase at the big fixture, the Tom George-trained eight-year-old again showed his liking for the track, travelling so well that Paddy Brennan took the lead earlier than ideal, before the second-last. However, Parsnip Pete (100-30 favourite) kept up the gallop after jumping the final fence to defeat Surf And Turf by two-and-a-quarter lengths.

George said: “He’s still improving at the moment and has plenty of pace. He was difficult as a young horse but we got the hang of him, worked him out and all’s going well now. We’ll probably have to step him up in grade. He was probably in front far too long, but Paddy had no option.”

Several possible Classic contenders were in winning action at Leopardstown yesterday, with leading trainers Jim Bolger and Dermot Weld making positive noises in regard to next season.

While Bolger’s Parish Boy reached Listed status in confirming his superiority over Order Of St George in the thetote.com Eyrefield Stakes, the Sheikh Hamdan-owned Zawraq made quite an impression on his debut in the thetote.com EBF Maiden, ridden by champion jockey Pat Smullen.

Sir Isaac Newton, Aidan O’Brien’s son of Galileo, cost 3,600,000 gns as a yearling and was sent off at odds-on, but despite travelling well, he could not get past Zawraq (3-1).