Plenty of action to get stuck into this Saturday afternoon with a host of racing across Britain and Ireland to begin the feted month of March and set the Cheltenham Festival countdown into full overdrive!
Some fantastic servants will line up for this Veterans’ Handicap Chase at Newbury over 3m2f and it might be worth speculating on Neil King’s Milansbar at a big price.
He was a winner at Warwick in a decent graded handicap 13 months ago and ran a creditable fifth in the Grand National at Aintree last term under Bryony Frost. Things haven’t gone to plan in his two starts this term but he’s been eased by the handicapper as a result and is seemingly having his sights lowered a bit here.
Dan Skelton takes the ride, his first time on the 12-year-old, and with the yard hitting some form of late (4-19) there’s reason to believe he can be seen to better effect having run down the field in the defence of his Grade 3 Handicap Chase in early January at Warwick. Conditions and trip are ideal and Milansbar looks overpriced.
Colin Tizzard is responsible for two of the five runners here and it is Molineaux that appeal as the likeliest winner. He already looks a better chaser than he was a hurdler, having opened his account at Wincanton over this trip in January. He tackled three-miles at Exeter last weekend and was beaten only buy a useful sort from the Paul Nicholls yard.
Dropping back in distance holds no fears and Tom Scudamore’s mount must have shown his trainer he’s well to be coming back out just eight days on. Stablemate Slate House has undergone a wind operation but has a few questions to answer at the moment, leaving Huntsman Son as the biggest threat.
Having run out a very easy winner of a Grade 2 novice contest over C&D in December, Kim Bailey’s charge is holding strong claims now going in to handicap company for the first time. Rocky’s Treasure has won four from six so far over fences, meeting defeat only behind the likes of Ok Corral and Santini.
He didn’t jump as fluently last month at Warwick in a Listed novice contest but, if he gets into his rhythm this time around, he looks up to this task after a short break and a return to the scene of his career-best effort. Bailey’s stable are in super form, with a 26% strike rate from their last 19 runners and more success beckons on Town Moor.
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