The ground was described as good to soft at Cheltenham on Thursday ahead of the first day of their December meeting. There was no significant rain forecast.
Coeur Serein was in the process of making an impressive chase debut when he came down at the last at Lingfield when 5L clear of his field. He has been raised 7lbs for that unlucky defeat, however, and I hope to see Corach Rambler (12.40) follow up his Aintree success over todays 3m 1f trip from a 7lbs higher mark.
The recommendation, at the time of writing, still holds a couple of entries at Doncaster on Saturday including in a Grade 2 Novices’ Chase which suggests he is held in some regard by Lucinda Russell and Peter Scudamore. I am not suggesting he is in the same class as stablemate Ahoy Senor, but he could be called the winner a long way from home on Merseyside and he would not be inconvenienced if there was further significant rain.
The gelding did stick his head up in the air after the last at Aintree, which is a concern for his supporters, but it did not stop him galloping all the way to the line. The form of his latest success is not working out particularly well, but he jumped well for a novice and he might still be ahead of the handicapper.
Rose Of Arcadia is a winner between the flags and has always threatened to leave her hurdles mark behind once making the switch to fences. She gets the opportunity today for the inform Colin Tizzard stable and she is fitted with a tongue tie for the first time this afternoon.
Dame Du Soir made an encouraging return over the larger obstacles and has dropped to a decent mark, but marginal preence is for Fontaine Collonges (1.50) who is taken to confirm Warwick form with Precious Eleanor despite being 4lbs worse off for just over 2L with that rival who reopposes this afternoon.
The Venetia Williams trained mare would have been a wide margin winner had she not made a significant error three out and she is taken to continue her progress up the chasing ranks. Any rain would be a positive.
Former Gold Cup runner up Santini makes his seasonal debut and first start for Polly Gundry. He is 13lbs lower in the weights than at the start of last season, but he is best watched at present.
The grey Commodore (2.25) has a good record fresh having finished second to last weekend’s Becher Chase winner Snow Leopardess at Haydock first time out last season. The grey is only 3lbs higher in the weights today, is another Venetia Williams’ trained representative and would have finished second in this corresponding race 12 months ago had he not come down at the last. He gets the each way vote at 9/2 with William Hill 4 places..
Enrilo looks the main danger as he was still tanking along when coming down about a mile out in the Ladbrokes Trophy. He is a worthy market leader but 9/4 looks a bit tight.
At Doncaster Solwarra One (1.40) is fitted with a hood by Neil Mulholland for his second start over fences having pulled hard before coming down four out at Ffos Las on ground quicker than ideal back in October. The selection -m 5/2 with 10Bet– won a Bumper and two hurdle events last season including on Town Moor. One slight concern the selection did jump slightly out to his right on his chase debut and at Aintree in a very competitive handicap hurdle back in the spring.
Cobblers Dream (2.15) jumped best but was easily brushed aside by Thunder Rock – subsequent winner – at Wetherby last time trying to give that rival 6lbs but has only had three starts over hurdles and can make a winning handicap debut for Ben Case and Jack Andrews who takes off a valuable 5lbs. He gets the each way vote – 4s with MansionBet – as long as conditions are no worse than good to soft.
If Jack Sharp (2.50) ever agrees to drop his head, he will leave behind his current mark of 116 and he did very well to score at Uttoxeter on his return having refused to settle in the early part of the race. Kim Bailey’s Voyburg escapes a penalty for winning at Exeter last week and he would be carrying 8lbs more if this race were run 24 hours later.
He is the one to beat but he is another unproven on soft ground and he is short enough in the market at 11/8.The 4s about for the selection on Thursday was too big and the recommendation is 9/4 with Boylesports at the time of writing.