A devilishly difficult afternoon on all fronts but it makes sense to side with the final Group One contest of the Flat racing season - the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster, where I’m siding with the experience and recent improvement of SIR DANCEALOT. What impressed me most about how well he won at York last time was that he was impeded in his run more than once yet showed so much tactical speed, even at that six-furlong trip. He goes up to a mile today but, given that he won very impressively over seven furlongs on an officially slow surface at Kempton earlier in the season, I don’t see the step up in trip being an issue. He has proved that he can run fast and I already knew he could get this trip so hopefully that’s a winning combination here. The booking of champion jockey Jim Crowley, who has already won on him twice, is the icing on the cake and David Elsworth’s improving colt looks decent each-way value.
At Cheltenham, the Showcase meeting gets better and better every year but it doesn’t get any easier to find winners because the handicaps are incredibly competitive, so these are a few educated stabs.
I’m quite keen on RACING PULSE in the Randox Handicap Chase at 1.50pm. He completely lost the plot last season but didn’t run as badly as his finishing position suggests at the festival in March. His yard was mostly out of form last season so I think he is well handicapped on the best of his hurdle and chase form, and they have started this campaign in much better heart. His sole chase win came on heavy ground but he’s run right up to his best on a sound surface, and it may actually be what he wants – he’s not a slow horse. He would be my best bet at Cheltenham.
I’ve got a desperate urge to take on the front of the market in the Masterson Holdings Hurdle at 3pm because although Adrien Du Pont’s stable are in irresistible form, his best form is all on testing ground and I’m not sure the Alan King pair, talented they are, are any better than Leoncavallo or Wolf Of Windlesham on these terms. That leaves us with the conundrum of which of the outsiders to back and I’ve just come down on the side of WOLF OF WINDLESHAM whose only bad run over hurdles came when the ground was unsuitably soft, and his stable are in excellent form right now. He’s got lots in his favour and there is nothing between him and some of those higher up in the market, so he rates a sporting option in a trappy little contest.
FOX NORTON returns with his stable going great guns and this handy little horse is by no means handicapped out of things, especially as he could have more to offer over fences this season. He has been in the money on all three visits to Prestbury Park and, as long as he’s not harried too hard on the front end, could make that four.£10 Free Credit and a £500 Deposit Bonus