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Lancashire Telegraph racing column
8:22am Thursday 6th February 2014 in Sport
Vaniteux beat an above-average type on his British debut at Sandown in Vibrato Valtat and should go well at Doncaster.
Having shown a good attitude in the process, Nicky Henderson's imate then ran in a red-hot novices' hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Vaniteux came home fourth, but the result could have been oh so different had he not slipped on landing after the last.
Whether the five-year-old would have won cannot be said with any certainty, but he would have finished much closer and that form is streets ahead of most of his rivals in the Eventmasters LTD EBF "National Hunt" Novices Hurdle.
Sue Smith's Fill The Power made a respectable reappearance at Haydock last month, when not disgraced behind Benvolio at Haydock, and has more in his favour in the Larkshill Engineering Handicap Chase.
His previous race was in the Scottish National when he was a fine fifth on fast ground so the conditions at Haydock could not have been more contrasting.
The ground at Doncaster will not be an issue, nor will the step back up to three miles. Smith's string continues in good form.
Billy Cuckoo is running consistently well for Tony Carroll and his turn could be near in the Book Festival Hospitality With Eventmasters Handicap Chase.
Venetia Williams has in recent weeks been banging in the winners, which makes Mudita Moment must-bet material in the 32Red.com Handicap Hurdle at Huntingdon.
The nine-year-old has returned from a long spell on the sidelines seemingly better than ever, and made a most impressive comeback at Warwick on New Year's Eve.
It was no surprise to see him turned out swiftly under a penalty at Plumpton just five days later and while he was made to work hard to justify odds-on favouritism, his Warwick exertions had probably knocked the edge off him.
Williams has sensibly given her charge a month to freshen up and he is fancied to complete the hat-trick, with the step up in trip unlikely to trouble him.
Memberof can reward those who keep the faith in him in the 32Red Juvenile Hurdle, run for the Chatteris Fen Trophy.
Alan King's French recruit was strongly fancied to make a winning start to his British career at Aintree at the end of October, but was pulled up as though something was amiss.
King's string have, of course, since spent a lengthy spell in the doldrums, but his horses have run much better since he closed the yard for a short period.
Memberof showed in his homeland he has a good level of ability and he will have to run well on his second British start if he is to take up his entry in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham next month.
Spreadable has been on quite a roll so far in 2014 and should be supported as he shoots for his fourth triumph under a penalty at Wolverhampton.
Nick Littmoden's charge appeared to have improved for both a gelding operation and the application of a visor when scoring on the Dunstall Park Polytrack for the first time last month.
He beat subsequent winner My My My Diliza by five lengths on that occasion before following up under an extra 6lb burden just seven days later.
Switched to Lingfield after that, Spreadable had to settle for fourth and it was clearly not the 12lb higher mark that beat him that day, more the fact that he just could not get a clear run.
Dropped back to the minimum trip on his return to the Midlands venue on Saturday, Spreadable righted that wrong as he claimed a neck verdict, appearing to win once more with a little still up his sleeve.
He will be saddled with another 6lb in the 32Red Handicap but there might be more to come.
Boogangoo seems to have found her level and can strike gold once again in the 32Red Casino Claiming Stakes.
She emerged on top in a two-runner seller at the track last week, seeing off the favourite that day when slightly favoured at the weights.
Boogangoo once again has a handy pull in this event and Keith Dalgleish can prove he has placed her to good effect this time too.
Arlecchino has yet to hit the mark in two starts on the all-weather but his time can come in the Coral App Download From The App Store Handicap.
He was beaten just over two lengths at the track late last month and following that luckless run, he is now back on the mark from which he scored on the turf at Pontefract last July.
Arlecchino evidently has some ability and another slight ease in the ratings can help his task.
DONCASTER: 1.20 Rock On Ruby, 1.50 Vaniteux, 2.25 Civil War, 3.00 FILL THE POWER (NAP), 3.35 Top Billing, 4.10 Billy Cuckoo, 4.40 Caught By Witness.
HUNTINGDON: 1.10 Mudita Moment, 1.40 Browns Brook, 2.15 Henry King, 2.50 Memberof, 3.25 Prideofthecastle, 4.00 Pearlysteps, 4.30 Our Cat.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.00 Disco Dave, 5.30 Arlecchino, 6.00 Boogangoo, 6.30 Eva Clare, 7.00 SPREADABLE (NAP), 7.30 Very First Blade, 8.00 Rafaaf.
DOUBLE: Fill The Power and Vaniteux.
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