Doncaster Racecourse

The Novice Chase on the card at Carlisle this afternoon has been decimated by the withdrawals of Aintree winner Ahoy Senor and Cadzand on account of the ground which was described as good – good to firm in places on Tgursday morning.

Tupelo Mississippi (2.30) finished behind Deluxe Ranger when the pair chased home Le Cheval Noir at Newcastle back in March but he can reverse the form on 2lbs better terms. Both look likely to make up into better chasers than hurdlers this term but it is the Brian Ellison 6-year-old who gets the vote with Brian Hughes in the plate. The selection is 13/8 with 10Bet.

Sambezi is interesting on his chase debut and Waitonit is a fascinating contender having his first start for Sandy Thompson having left Nigel Twiston-Davies since disappointing at Market Rasen last September. His previous win at Southwell suggests he is well treated, and the booking of Brian Hughes suggests a big run is expected.

I was impressed, however, with the win of Palixandre (4.15) at Uttoxeter last month and a 4lbs rise may not prevent him following up if in the same mood. Good ground clearly suits the selection and he settled nicely in a hood – only second time worn – in Staffordshire last time. The 11/2 on Wednesday didnt last too long and he is a best price 7/2 with William Hill at the time of posting.

The ground was described as good to firm at Ludlow on Wednesday morning but there was rain forecast yesterday ahead of todays six-race card which features a fascinating amateur riders’ contest.

Goldencard (3.15) was taken out of a race at Fontwell yesterday on account of the soft ground, but he gets the vote today just ahead of Gouet Des Bruyeres who is 5lbs higher than when scoring at Worcester last time over the minimum trip. He jumped slightly out to the right on that occasion and should be well suited by today’s track, but he looked a non stayer over this afternoon’s trip at Market Rasen back in February. Do note rail movements mean the race will be run over an additional 80 yards.

Goldencard – 2s with MansionBet – has improved in recent starts and is likely to make a bold bid from the front under his inexperienced pilot who is having just his third ride under rules. He jumped slightly out to his right when scoring at Uttoxeter on his penultimate start and may have not got home over a longer trip at Fontwell last time.

At Newton Abbot Arian (3.23) won the 2m 5f handicap chase on her seasonal reappearance 12 months ago from a 13lbs lower mark and I feel she can defy the rise this afternoon with the Philip Hobbs yard in such sparkling form.

The mare – 7/2 with Boylesports – went off the boil after falling two out at Cheltenham back in November, but she clearly goes well fresh and had tanked through that Cheltenham contest before coming down. Note her victory in the corresponding race 12 months ago was gained on heavy ground and conditions were similarly described for today’s card on Thursday morning.

Corran Cross made a pleasing British debut and gave every indication that a drop back to this intermediate 2m 5f trip would suit – a market move would be significant.

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