1:45 Doncaster – Park Hill Hospital Novices’ Chase
Paul Nicholls has been waiting for some better ground before sending COWARDS CLOSE over fences and he should have it on Saturday. A fair hurdler, winning twice from four starts, I expect him to be much better over fences as he jumped hurdles in the style of a chaser. He also has winning form in points, and with his stable in such good form, I fancy him to make a winning chase debut.
3:30 Doncaster – William Hill Grimthorpe Chase
REAL MILAN has some useful form to his name and looks well handicapped off a mark of 129. As a novice he was good enough to compete in the RSA Chase and then ran really well at Wetherby, finishing second, nine lengths ahead of Restless Harry at level weights, who is now rated 146. He ran well after a layoff to finish a close fourth at Doncaster under top weight off a mark of 132 (12 pounds better off now with the winner Mart Lane) and then finished second last time out, so comes into the race in form and should be primed for a big run.
3:50 Newbury – StanJames.com Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup
ULCK DU LIN has been disappointing this season, but as a result has dropped 13 pounds in the handicap. Going back just over a year he won well off a mark of 136 at Ascot and prior to that was very impressive when winning at Newbury off 126. He wears a tongue strap for the first time in this and with his trainer being an expert at sorting out horse’s breathing problems; that could be significant.