Racing: Friday preview

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Punting night owls can be richly rewarded if Cloud Monkey does what is expected of him at Catterick.

The gelded son of Marju made a relatively strong impression upon his return from a long absence in April and should be much fitter for the Leslie Petch Handicap.

Cloud Monkey had been sidelined since September 2014 but looked the essence of vitality with a most encouraging display over this course and distance.

Martin Todhunter’s inmate did not look too happy with his lot going into the stalls, but he soon gathered a decent head of steam from off the pace.

Fitness told a little late on as he could not sustain the challenge, but Cloud Monkey still did really well to finish fourth, beaten just two and a half lengths by the winner, Pertuis, whom he meets again but on more favourable terms.

The five-year-old has not won since his days in Ireland, when he struck on his debut at Dundalk for Willie McCreery, but he has slipped to a most generous mark.

He also demonstrated at Catterick last month that he would not require too much improvement from his seasonal bow to win a small race like this.

Head Space is a name to consider in the Genting Casino Brighton Blackjack Handicap at Brighton.

The seven-year-old gelding did well enough on the all-weather earlier this year, despite having failed to get his head in front, yet took a bigger step in the right direction at Goodwood a week ago.

Having his first spin since March, Michael Attwater’s gelded son of Invincible Spirit showed decent pace in a tight six-furlong handicap to finish fifth, just two and a quarter lengths in arrears of top spot.

*Selections -

Haydock: 6.15 Hydrant, 6.45 Top Of The Bank, 7.15 Altharoos, 7.45 One Man Army, 8.20 Murgan, 8.50 Yul Finegold.

Newmarket: 2.00 Blossomtime, 2.30 Leaderene, 3.05 Horseshoe Bay, 3.35 Firmdecisions, 4.10 Genres, 4.45 Maoi Chinn Tire, 5.15 Jamesbo’s Girl.

Brighton: 2.20 Field Of Vision, 2.50 Darma, 3.25 Head Space, 3.55 Quest For Wonder, 4.30 Tilstarr, 5.05 Gannicus, 5.35 Port Lairge.

Catterick: 6.35 Prigsnov Dancer, 7.05 Bond Bombshell, 7.35 Mops Angel, 8.10 Pearl Noir, 8.40 CLOUD MONKEY (NAP), 9.10 Vecheka.

Newcastle: 2.10 Bathos, 2.40 Hercullian Prince, 3.15 Downtown Boy, 3.45 Moonrise Landing, 4.20 Robins Pearl, 4.55 Who’sthedaddy, 5.25 Bogsnog.

Stratford: 5.55 Cold Knight, 6.25 Weather Babe, 6.55 Indiana Bay, 7.25 Drom, 8.00 Paint The Clouds, 8.30 Can Mestret, 9.00 The Ice Factor.

Double: Cloud Monkey and Jamesbo’s Girl.