The ITV team are based at Doncaster this weekend where we show you racing from there and a couple from Newbury and a decent novice hurdle from Kelso.
Philip Hobbs’ Who’s My Jockey has not run since Christmas but he does have solid form on a sound surface. He is nicely weighted on his best form and his third to Erick Le Rouge at Kempton reads well as that horse has won again since. Ballyandy was fourth home in that contest and has also won again since. The omens are good for Who’s My Jockey and this should be his race to win.
There’s a disappointing field for the 2m Handicap Chase with only six runners. Nuts Well would be of interest for me here had he not fallen so heavily last time behind Cracking Find. He took a pearler of a fall and even though he has the cheek-pieces on for the first time, I am concerned that fall will leave its mark.
I am sticking with Sue Smith’s Cracking Find to rattle up the hat-trick. The form of that win last time is strong and we know he likes the track. When the ground is quick at Doncaster you cant afford to give up ground at the fences and he’s a good jumper.
Both Danse Idol and Papagana have previous form together from Sandown last month and I expect Paul Nicholls’ mare to come out on top again over this longer trip. She should handle ground conditions and she is such a strong traveller that this track will really suit and she can continue the great run of form of the Nicholls’ team.
Bonza Girl has been really well placed by connections and is capable of running a big race here.
The 3m 2f Grimthorpe Chase has a couple of Doncaster specialists in Rocky’s Treasure who was disappointing at Warwick behind Ok Corral but prior to that had really impressed at this venue in December. Dingo Dollar ran a blinder at Newbury in the Ladbroke Trophy when he forced the pace for most of the race before eventually finishing third to Sizing Tennesse.
He didn’t go up in the ratings for that great run at Newbury so Dingo Dollar gets the vote for trainer Alan King.
Don’t be put off by the ‘p’ in Carole’s Destrier’s last run as he lost all chance of winning when badly hampered by the fall of Two Amigos last time. He’s even been dropped 1lb by the handicapper since that run and has won over course and distance. Trainer Neil Mulholland has a good record with his staying chasers and he looks a big player each-way.
The favourite Abolitionist is the obvious danger. A winner over hurdles at Aintree earlier in the season, his chasing ‘mark’ has been protected for next month’s Aintree Grand National. However, now that the weights have been released, he looks a player and has some top form over fences in Ireland, notably when third in the Irish Grand National behind Our Duke in 2017.
He may just improve for this run ahead of Aintree and has to concede a lot of weight, but if fully fit he may take all the beating.
War Sound seems to prefer flat tracks and Newbury should be right up his street. He was really impressive at Aintree two starts back. I have a soft spot for Valdez though. Alan King wouldn’t keep him in training if he was not showing him the right signs at home. I am going for him here as my each-way selection and Paddy’s paying the first five home if more than 14 runners line up.
Getaway Trump has been put up in a few of the handicaps at the Cheltenham festival by some shrewd judges and if he is to win there – he should really be winning this race at the Scottish track. Rouge Vif is not the most straightforward and that is a concern. He only scrambled home at very short odds at Newcastle last time. Windsor Avenue is interesting as he was an easy winner at Sedgefield last time but with his profile it has to be Getaway Trump to win.