Bures to make a winning return


DAVID BRIDGWATER can gain a rare win for an outside yard on Bures in the Douglas Concrete Handicap Hurdle at Uttoxeter today. The 25 year old has benefited enormously from his move to Martin Pipe's stable this term and completed his first century of winners last Saturday.

But his retainer has restricted the championship contender's chance to pick up plum rides from other yards and fewer than 20 of his winners have been for other trainers.

However, Pipe has no runner in this £7,000 added contest and Bridgwater's agent has been quick to secure him the mount on Bures.

The progressive five year old is a gelding well worth riding as he has won four times in six starts over the last year. He looked to have plenty of improvement still in him when he scored at Fakenham and Fontwell within six days in October, asked to do no more than necessary on each occasion.

So it was a disappointment when he finished last of six at Sandown the following month, though the much stiffer track almost certainly counted against him. A subsequent five month lay off suggests all was not well with him that day.

Mark Tompkins' stable has recently emerged from a lean spell and Bures can underline the yard's current good health by returning with a win.

Jockeys' championship leader Tony McCoy is set to strengthen his advantage half an hour later in the Houghton Vaughan Handicap Chase. His mount Larry's Lord has run consistently well all season and is the obvious choice to see off four out of form rivals.

Erzadjan is very difficult to oppose in the Montagu Handicap Hurdle at Wetherby. The six year old coasted to victory at Kelso last week.