DONCASTER stage an excellent two-day meeting this weekend and I am very sweet on the chances of Victor Hewgo (2.10) in the Novices’ Chase and Up To Something who is stepping up to 3m for the first time for Charlie Longsdon.
The selection ran an excellent race on his chase debut over a shorter trip (2m 3f) here earlier in the month and this step up in distance will suit given he won a handicap hurdle here over 3m on soft ground last season.
He is quite long in the tooth (just turned nine) to be switching his attentions to fences but he jumped soundly when runner up to the promising Western Warhorse and is entitled to improve for the experience.
Honest John (2.45) is another confident selection form the stable of Steve Gollings’ whose yard are in such fine fettle at present.
The selection ran third in a better race than this over C&D last time and Jason Maguire, who was in the saddle on that occasion, keeps the mount. The 10-y-old is 3lb lower than when winning over C&D as a novice and can score at the expense of Badger Foot only 5lb higher than when successful at Newcastle last time under today’s excellent conditional who is good value for his 5lbs claim.
Kayserberg is interesting in the stayers’ hurdle with a track record of 1st, 2nd and 2nd and the handicapper has certainly given him a chance but good ground looks essential to his chances and for that reason alone is overlooked.
Preference is for Atlantic Roller (3.15) who makes the trip up from Somerset for leading connections.
The gelding has only had four career starts but did win at Exeter on soft ground as a novice last season and he promises to be well suited by this step up in trip.
No surprise to see Dakar Run also step up in trip but, despite a Bumper win on soft ground, he is not certain to appreciate today’s conditions and preference is for Call Me Vic (4.20).
He is a winner of both starts an Irish point and a Worcester bumper and who looks sure to make his mark over timber.
Paul Nicholls’ saddles Sergeant Thunder who was bought for £72,000 at Cheltenham sales having won a modest Ludlow bumper for Charlie Brooks the previous week.