Roberto Goldback might not be the force he once was, but he is of definite interest taking a significant drop in class for the Knight Fencing Ltd Supports Sussex Snowdrop Handicap Chase at Fontwell.
The 12-year-old mixed it at the top level during his days in Ireland and made a winning start to life for Nicky Henderson in the 2012 United House Gold Cup at Ascot.
He has perhaps not lived up to expectations since, but performed creditably when third in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham on his penultimate start and a subsequent drop in the ratings has allowed him to get into this lesser race with top-weight.
On paper, this is the veteran’s easiest assignment for some time and hopefully his class will shine through.
The Informant arrives at the track in tremendous form and is fancied to complete a hat-trick for Seamus Mullins in the Sussex Hardwood, RWP Group & MarchwoodIFA Handicap Chase.
The eight-year-old made a winning debut under Rules in a bumper at this track on Boxing Day 2012 and although results the following year are best forgotten, he has raised his game significantly in recent months.
A maiden victory over fences in atrocious conditions at Southwell in early January began the resurgence and although he failed to fire at Chepstow next time, he ran well enough here in mid-March to suggest he was capable of further progress.
The anticipated improvement was forthcoming when successful at Plumpton a couple of weeks later, where the application of blinkers appeared to help, and the headgear did the job again when he followed up at the same track little over a month ago.
He is up 3lb for that latest triumph and the handicapper is bound to catch up with him before long, but there might just be room for one more victory.
Gold Futures should take a bit of beating in the Border Facilities Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at Kelso.
Nicky Richards is not a trainer who tends to rush his youngsters, so it is no surprise this particular five-year-old has taken a while to find his stride.
A decent effort to finish second in a Newcastle bumper last spring was his only start of the season and he ran creditably twice over hurdles at the start of this term to offer plenty of hope for the future.
He was not seen between November and the start of this month, but it was worth the wait as he absolutely bolted up on his handicap debut at Market Rasen.
The handicapper has had his say, bumping up Gold Futures by 10lb, but he is open to stacks of improvement and is fancied to defy the hefty rise.
Golden Hoof is of obvious interest in the 32Red Casino Beginners’ Chase at Uttoxeter.
Nicky Henderson’s charge failed to sparkle over hurdles last term but a switch to fences at Kempton earlier this month seemed to rekindle his enthusiasm.
The six-year-old put in a decent round of jumping on that occasion to run a higher-rated rival to a length and a quarter and Golden Hoof is surely capable of stepping up on that again.
There is another top-class day of Flat action taking place at the Curragh, with the Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas giving another chance for three-year-old fillies to clinch Classic glory.
Dermot Weld has started the season in sensational form and his Vote Often looks bound to make her presence felt having made a winning return to action against her elders in the Park Express Stakes over the course and distance.
Magician can make it a fourth win in five years for Aidan O’Brien in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.
The Ballydoyle team had to settle for second last term as Camelot was edged out by Al Kazeem, but Magician could be hard to beat this time around.
After a nightmare run in Dubai, Magician got his year back on track with a Group Three victory at this track earlier in the month, holding off the reopposing Parish Hall by a neck.
He looked certain to improve for the outing and this presents an excellent opportunity to add another Group One to his record.
CURRAGH: 1.45 Rule The Waves, 2.15 Great Minds, 2.45 Renaissance Art, 3.20 Magician, 3.55 Vote Often, 4.30 Thomas Edison, 5.40 Leliani.
FONTWELL: 2.20 Invicta Lake, 2.50 The Informant, 3.25 Run On Sterling, 4.00 ROBERTO GOLDBACK (NAP), 4.35 Ittirad, 5.10 Head Spin, 5.45 Mighty Mambo.
KELSO: 2.05 Gold Futures, 2.40 New Vic, 3.10 Solis, 3.45 Hallmark Star, 4.20 Lyric Street, 4.55 Harris Hawk, 5.30 Ballyvesey, 6.00 Ground Invasion.
UTTOXETER: 1.55 Golden Milan, 2.30 Golden Hoof, 3.00 Midnight Minx, 3.35 Ladies Dancing, 4.10 Lord Landen, 4.45 Polstar, 5.20 Nishay.
DOUBLE: Roberto Goldback and Gold Futures.