GEORDIE B comes here a fresh horse after a solid fourth on his only start this season at Newbury. He looked a really nice prospect last season with a hat-trick of wins at novice level. His latest effort was solid with the crawling pace not suiting him. This trip is ideal and he has a lot more to offer.
Blackjack Kentucky got off the mark nicely at Chepstow latest and champion trainer Paul Nicholls is in brilliant form at the moment. He stays well and doesn’t need a lot more to follow up on this handicap debut.
Remastered should find this a lot easier than the Graded contest he struggled in at Sandown four weeks ago. He earlier went close in fair company at Chepstow and is weighted to go close.
Coded Message has been holding her own in better races than this, including when third in Listed class at Warwick over 2m5f which is on the short side. She’s 15lb higher than her Kempton handicap win at Christmas but can’t be ruled out upped in trip.
| 2. Geordie B|
J: Aidan Coleman
T: Miss V Williams
Doncaster – Feb 29th 15:50
JERRYSBACK looked his old self when finishing a good third in the Ascot Silver Cup last time out.
He made one late error which probably cost him the race but he generally jumped better and finally seems over his exertions in last year’s National Hunt Chase war of attrition. This drop in trip is interesting and he looks on a fair mark.
Barry Geraghty has picked the other JP McManus runner Dalila De Seuil. She went well at Huntingdon when second last time but needs to improve.
Dolos got the job done well at Sandown four Saturdays ago and a 4lb rise isn’t out of order. He likes some cut in the ground and will be right there again.
Nuts Well made it three wins in a row at Wetherby with a convincing success. He’s going up the weights but is a strong traveller and is another in the mix.
Destrier made errors when down the field at Cheltenham last time but has placed form in Grade 1 company over this trip. He could bounce back in a first-time tongue tie.
| 5. Jerrysback|
J: T J O’Brien
T: P J Hobbs
Doncaster – Feb 29th 16:25
CILL ANNA looks a few steps ahead of these rivals.
After showing promise in bumpers she got off the mark over hurdles at Warwick on New Year’s Eve before more than matching that form with a convincing success at Wincanton last time.
This step up to three miles looks a wise move and the others have plenty of improving to do.
Eleanor Rob is another looking for a hat-trick after striking well at Leicester and Exeter.
She likes to go from the front and is another who shapes like a stayer. This looks a different level but she can hit the places.
Aimee De Sivola took a step backwards when fifth at Newbury after a good third at Sandown. This is a hike in class so there’s more needed.
Easter Gold loved the mud when winning at Lingfield last month so connections will be hoping for a Donny downpour. She put in a fair effort when second at Wetherby after that but this is another step up.
| 4. Cill Anna|
J: Harry Cobden
T: P F Nicholls
Doncaster – Feb 29th 17:00
BOLDMERE should have won a Grade 2 at Wetherby last time but he took a clumsy tumble at the final fence when out in front.
He jumped really well before that and hopefully there will be no ill-effects. He landed convincing wins here and at Leicester before that and this slightly longer trip looks ideal.
Chidswell was a good third in the Sky Bet Chase here last time despite making some clumsy mistakes. If he clears his fences better he can have a big say.
Worthy Farm comes from the champion trainer with a big chance after going through the mud to score at Wincanton. He shapes like a real stayer and can have a big say, especially if the heavens open.
Fortified Bay is another who likes a test of stamina and he wasn’t stopping at the end of three miles at Newcastle last month. A 7lb rise in the weights is slightly harsh but he should be right there again.
J: James Bowen
T: Mrs Caroline Bailey
Doncaster – Feb 29th 17:35
JOE FARRELL won the Scottish Grand National a couple of years ago and has been lightly raced since.
He has looked better than ever on his past two runs with a close third in one of these veterans’ races followed by a solid effort in the Ladbrokes Trophy around here in November.
We know he’s blessed with plenty of staying power and he saves his best for this track. He should run a big race.
Le Rocher looks a threat after good placed efforts at Sandown and Wincanton. He stayed on well over a similar trip last time and has every chance of hitting the frame.
Theatre Guide was a close third in a similar race to this at Sandown last time. He’s 13 now but retains lots of ability.
Virgilio was a smart chaser a couple of years ago and came back from a long break with a rusty effort over hurdles earlier this month.
That should have sharpened him up nicely and he a won a Listed race off this mark before his break. He looks a big price for the Skeltons.
Singlefarmpayment will have his fan club again but he’s very much hit and miss as he showed with a poor effort at Cheltenham when favourite last time.
| 2. Joe Farrell|
J: Adam Wedge
T: Miss R Curtis
Newbury – Feb 29th 16:05
MONT DES AVALOIRS can give Paul Nicholls yet another win in the Greatwood Gold Cup. The champ fires plenty of bullets but he gets results with nine victories since the race started in 2004.
Bryony Frost takes the mount on the seven-year-old who improved a bundle when second in a tough handicap here last time. That was just his third run over fences so there should be a lot more to come.
Nicholls also has good chances with last year’s winner San Benedeto and Secret Investor who are both ridden by claimers. That could make all the difference in such a tight contest.
If the prize isn’t going to Ditcheat, Tom George could nick it with Clondaw Castle. He had plenty in hand when winning at Warwick last time and this trip is right up his street.
Enrichissant is another with few miles on the clock and he sauntered away from his rivals at Huntingdon.
That was just nine days ago so hopefully it won’t have taken too much out of him as he’s clearly got talent.
| 9. Mont Des Avaloirs|
J: Bryony Frost
T: P F Nicholls
Newbury – Feb 29th 17:15
CALVA D’AUGE was value for further than the winning margin of a length at Plumpton last time on the back of a good win at Wincanton.
He steps back up in class here with every chance of improving for the slightly longer trip.
Clondaw Catlin looks a major threat after winning both her hurdles runs without breaking sweat. She had her Newcastle win sewn up a long way out and crossed the line ten lengths in front.
Her stamina is already proven and the mares’ allowance gives her another positive. There won’t be a lot between them.
Cheddleton isn’t out of this either after bloodless victories at Bangor and here last time. This testing ground is ideal and he deserves this step up in grade. The rest appear to have plenty on their plate.
Ubeyta got the job done well at Uttoxeter last month and is another who will like the mud.
Multellie stays further and has landed a couple of game successes at Carlisle. This is a different level but he could sneak into the places at what looks a big enough price.
| 1. Calva D’Auge|
J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: P F Nicholls
Kelso – Feb 29th 16:45
1.50 Geordie B
3.00 Cill Anna
3.35 BOLDMERE (NAP)
5.20 Kearney Hill
1.30 All Yours
2.05 Joe Farrell (treble)
2.40 Le Ligerien
3.15 Mont Des Avalors
3.50 Captain Blackpearl
4.25 Tidal Flow
5.00 Red Rookie
1.25 Under Curfew
2.00 Royal Birth
2.35 Spirit Warning
4.20 Cry Wolf
1.37 Beat Box
2.12 Albert’s Back
2.45 Calva D’Auge
3.22 Definitly Red
3.57 Black Pirate (nb)
4.32 Skipping On
5.07 Late Romantic
5.30 Mister Music
6.30 Charlie D
7.30 War Empress
8.00 The Eagle’s Nest