Catch Court at Donny
Man On The Spot previews Saturday's terrestrial TV action from Doncaster and Newbury.
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14:05 Newbury: Betfair Supporting Greatwood Handicap Hurdle
A tricky opener as most of these have some sort of chance on their best form. We'll stick with DREAM AGAIN BOYS, who is on a hat-trick after wins at Ffos Las and Warwick. He's suffered an inevitable rise up the weights and both of those victories were on heavy ground but he won on good to soft last season and may still be improving. Water Garden is one of those who are potentially well treated while veteran Kayf Aramis is still capable of a bold showing. Ballytober was no match for O'Faolains Boy in a novice event at Bangor last time, however, while The Romford Pele may be better over 2m4f. Monetary Fund weakened two out here last time and may be too high in the weights now.
14:20 Doncaster: TRM Handicap Chase
It's more than a year since the headstrong Laterly last ran over fences and he fell over hurdles at Kempton last time. Kings Grey has never finished out of the frame in six previous runs here and should be thereabouts again having won over 2m3f at the track in November, though he doesn't win as often as he should. Kudu Country is another who struggles to get his head in front but Prince Of Dreams won at Musselburgh last month and makes more appeal than The Bull Hayes and Ulysse Collonges. TOUBAB won on good ground at Sandown a year ago but has got bogged down in the mud in his two starts this campaign. The going here will be much more suitable and he can make his class tell.
14:40 Newbury: Barbury International Supporting Greatwood Veterans' Handicap Chase
Hey Big Spender won a Grade 3 at Warwick last year off an 11lb higher mark but his form this season has been very disappointing. Michel Le Bon has been pulled up in both starts since finishing second in a Listed race at Wincanton in November while this is probably too far for Idarah and Tartak has spent most of his career over shorter trips, though was fourth behind Katenko over 3m1f at Sandown in January. SONA SASTA was only sixth behind Hey Big Spender in that Warwick race and is worse off at the weights here but he did win on his reappearance at Chepstow and ran well until running out of steam in the Welsh National there subsequently. He might just retain more ability than the majority of these. Both Mortimers Cross and Desperate Dex stay well but are the senior members of this particular group and usually compete at a lower level.
14:55 Doncaster: William Hill Grimthorpe Chase (Handicap)
Calgary Bay won the Great Yorkshire Chase over 3m here last year and has always had a touch of class. Join Together just failed to catch Hello Bud in the Becher Chase at Aintree over this trip in December and is another with decent claims while Ikorodu Road won this last year off a 7lb lower mark. Along with Night In Milan and course specialist Corkage, he wasn't far behind COURT BY SURPRISE here in December and has every chance of reversing the form on better terms but Emma Lavelle's charge gets the nod as he has more scope for improvement and the extra 2f has to be in his favour given the way he finished that day. Mr Moonshine has a bit to find on the form book and Quentin Collonges needs to get back to his best to figure but Mr Moss stays well, though lacks a recent run.
15:15 Newbury: Ladbrokes Supporting Greatwood Handicap Hurdle
Sporting Boy has won four of his last five but has gone up a further 14lb since beating today's rival Meetings Man by eight lengths at Wetherby in November. The Betchworth Kid finished in mid-division in the Betfair Hurdle here three weeks ago but hasn't won over hurdles since 2009 while All The Aces has been a big disappointment and Princely Player and Meganisi need to improve on recent efforts. The Pier is starting to look well handicapped but probably needs a softer surface and Turn Of Sivola is proving difficult to place in handicaps, though should be in the firing-line again. CRY OF FREEDOM was making his seasonal reappearance when a close third to Ifandbutwhynot at Musselburgh last month. On last season's form, in particular a second to Ile De Re at Huntingdon, he has every chance here. Tango De Juilley is another who could improve for a comeback run.
15:30 Doncaster: William Hill - Download The App Handicap Hurdle
The step up to 3m may well suit useful Flat stayer Aaim To Prosper and he has to go on the short-list in his first handicap over hurdles. His stamina will certainly be tested as former Hennessy Gold Cup winner Carruthers will attack from the front. Barafundle and Powerful Ambition are rarely far away and Lord Wishes is an improving young hurdler who was only beaten half-a-length when trying 3m1f at Musselburgh last month. The mare Beyeh has been knocking on the door but Harvey's Hope couldn't pick up over course and distance 10 days ago and Keith Reveley may have more of a chance with CUE TO CUE. It may not pay to take the form of her second to Peddlers Cross at Kelso too literally but she'd won easily at Southwell in November and a first try over 3m is a natural progression. She may still be well handicapped.
15:50 Newbury: StanJames Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
The Knoxs appears to be the Nicholls yard's number one hope but his jumping has always been a problem and Ryan Mahon takes 3lb off stablemate Pacha Du Polder, who might appreciate the better ground. Midnight Sail arrives in form having won at Kempton last week while the mare Pepite Rose and novice Tony Star can't be ignored. Garynella should strip fitter for his UK debut at Cheltenham but still needs to improve to figure in this grade whereas BIG FELLA THANKS has proven himself several times over. He won this in 2010 and has come right back to form for Tom George recently, beating subsequent Ayr winner Consigliere with more in hand than the official margin suggests at Wincanton last time. He can defy a 9lb weight rise as Saved By John is tackling better company now and Ballabriggs is being primed for another tilt at the Grand National and has a preferred engagement at Kelso today. Micheal Flips is on a decent mark but has been below par in recent outings.