Cheltenham and Doncaster provide some much needed high class action on a busy Saturday.
The feature Cheltenham race, The International, sees old warriors The New One and My Tent Or Yours taken on by the young legs of Melon. We tend to favour youth but there’s not much juice in the market.
A great betting prospect comes in the 2m handicap chase which sees the seasonal debut of Bun Doran.
In his novice season, Tom George’s 6yo managed to lead over the second last of big handicaps at both the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals. He faded here over a longer trip, but this 2 miles should be ideal.
This is a decent race, but not Festival class, and Bun Doran can be sharp enough to prevail. The other market leader Gino Trail has good recent form but as a 10yo should have far less scope for progress.
The big 2m4f handicap is a partial replay from the November meeting where Splash of Ginge caused a surprise. The odds suggest the beaten horses that day will turn around that form but we aren’t so sure.
All of them might struggle to hold potentially classy top weight Clan Des Obeaux. He has twice run Whisper to a half length which looks top form after that one’s Newbury effort. The ground has come in his favour and whilst he has blown out when tried in top company before, this race looks pretty benign and he can land the odds.
The booking of Bryony Frost on Amour de Nuit up at Doncaster is eye catching, but that race has countless angles. Instead we will wait for the last race. Sego Success has great course form but that has been visible to the handicapper. We prefer Henderson’s Kilcrea Vale.
This horse has long threatened to be decent but habitually disappoints. If there is a discernible trait to that habit, it is that the moments of flattery, when he looks like a star, have coincided with the flat course good ground conditions he gets at Donny today.
The risk of blowout is always high with Kilcrea, but the conditions are key, and he might well give us another glimpse of his talent today.
Bun Doran (1320 Cheltenham), 1pt win, 3/1 Paddy Power
Clan Des Obeaux (1355 Cheltenham), 1pt win, 7/2 generally available
Kilcrea Vale (1520 Doncaster), 1pt win, 9/2 generally available
All three, 1pt win treble, approx 98/1
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