Burton Port was an early departure in the Grand National but can make amends in the bet365 Gold Cup on the final day of the jumps season at Sandown.
Hailing from the in-form yard of Jonjo O’Neill, Burton Port was not without his fans at Aintree but he got no further than the second fence as he blundered through the obstacle and unshipped rider Brian Harding.
The 10-year-old had looked a lively outsider on Merseyside after posting a particularly eyecatching run when second to the reopposing Summery Justice on desperate ground at Newbury back in March.
With Burton Port having shown the majority of his best form on quicker ground, that was a decent effort and marked something of a return to form after a string of lacklustre efforts earlier in the season.
He was a classy performer in his younger days, finishing second in the RSA Chase back in 2010 and winning a handful of Grade Two events, but injury has arrested his progress and he lines up here on a mark of 141.
That puts him 6lb better off with Summery Justice this time and it could prove to be a lenient perch if Burton Port can channel his stable’s recent run of form and bounce back to his best.
Sire De Grugy is the star of the show at the Esher circuit, of course, and it would take a sizeable leap of faith to envisage defeat in the bet365 Celebration Chase.
Gary Moore’s champion chaser won this recently upgraded Grade One 12 months ago and has simply blossomed this term, with his Cheltenham triumph the crowning moment.
The eight-year-old’s speed at which he tackles fences meshes beautifully with Sandown’s galloping nature, a factor which further heightens his already watertight chances.
Less clear cut is the £25 Free Bet At corbettsports.com Handicap at Haydock, but it could be beneficial to pledge one’s allegiances to Sir Reginald.
Trained by Richard Fahey and owned by Channel 4 Racing sage Jim McGrath, the six-year-old gelding warmed up for this with a really encouraging effort at Doncaster in March.
Sir Reginald stayed on stoutly for fourth spot in a six-furlong handicap to suggest this rise in distance is a logical piece of business.
Ryan Moore’s appointment augurs well for a bold bid at the Merseyside circuit, where he should handle whatever the ground might be.
Listed action at Leicester in the totepool EBF Stallions King Richard III Stakes, which represents a decent opportunity for Pavlosk.
Sir Michael Stoute’s filly twice came unstuck over nine furlongs towards the end of last season, so it is interesting to see her revert to seven furlongs for this encounter.
Pavlosk was unraced as a juvenile, but impressed connections so much at York and Newbury that she was given the go-ahead for the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The daughter of Arch was found out at that level, but this should be far more her bag, especially given her trainer’s expertise with four-year-old fillies.
Esteaming can successfully make the grade over two miles in the At The Races Sky 415 Handicap at Ripon.
David Barron’s four-year-old has not yet gone beyond a mile and a half, but he looked a cut above at Newcastle earlier this month and is arguably the least exposed horse in this line-up.
Any further rainfall would be most welcome.
Spifer has enough wherewithal to return to form in the Casino Sign Up Bonuses At bonus.co.uk Handicap at Doncaster, with Precision Strike taken to double up at Wolverhampton in the Quicksilverslots £1 To Win £500 Handicap.
DONCASTER: 4.55 My Son Max, 5.25 Divine, 6.00 Roossey, 6.30 Penny Drops, 7.05 Matalleb, 7.35 Spifer, 8.05 Trixie Malone.
HAYDOCK: 1.20 Nubar Boy, 1.50 One Scoop Or Two, 2.20 Sir Reginald, 2.55 Galuppi, 3.25 Foxtrot Romeo, 4.00 Ski Lift, 4.35 Frankthetank, 5.10 Karaka Jack.
LEICESTER: 2.00 Dark Leopard, 2.30 Hell Of A Lord, 3.05 Eagle Top, 3.40 Pavlosk, 4.15 Kastini, 4.50 Gambol, 5.20 Prince Regal.
LIMERICK: 2.25 Maskoon, 3.00 Beyond Brilliance, 3.35 Dynamite Dixie, 4.10 Conan’s Rock, 4.45 Inis Meain, 5.20 Alafzara, 5.50 Hurricane Sky.
RIPON: 1.40 Sarista, 2.15 Lord Aeryn, 2.50 Body And Soul, 3.30 Esteaming, 4.05 Rawaki, 4.40 Signore Piccolo, 5.15 All Reddy.
SANDOWN: 2.05 Saint Jerome, 2.40 Rolling Aces, 3.15 Sire De Grugy, 3.50 BURTON PORT (NAP), 4.25 Polly Peachum, 5.00 Foundation Man, 5.30 Henryville.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.45 Invigilator, 6.15 Precision Strike, 6.45 Elizabeth Flynn, 7.20 Rusty Rocket, 7.50 Layline, 8.20 My Single Malt, 8.50 Sixties Queen.
DOUBLE: Burton Port and Sir Reginald.