Don't be caught out by Surprise
Man On The Spot previews all of Saturday's terrestrial television action from Doncaster and Newbury.
Who Owns Me has gone up 10lb for winning at Wetherby four weeks ago but shouldn't be far away again. Promised Wings continues his tumble down the weights but has yet to show any improvement for it but Georgian King must go on the short-list. His latest run was in a jumpers' bumper and he'd earlier finished second at Exeter and Kempton. Frizzo should be approaching peak fitness now after a couple of runs but the handicapper has left BRACKLOON HIGH on the same mark as when a staying-on third to Upswing over course and distance three weeks ago. Richard Johnson looks the ideal partner for Brendan Powell's thorough stayer, who gets the nod.
Toubeera completed her hat-trick in a Grade 3 at Haydock two weeks ago but was receiving weight all round that day. The boot is on the other foot here as she has to give 5lb to her rivals which include the battle-hardened Cannon Fodder and Land Of Vic, impressive in a couple of victories at Ludlow which have worked out well. Mayfair Music's Wincanton win has also been franked but this looks too tough for Luci Di Mezzanotte and Dewala, who only ran on the Flat on Thursday. LAYLA JOAN has a perfect record over hurdles and still looks to be improving. This is a step up in class but Gordon Elliott rarely wastes a trip across the Irish Sea and Paul Carberry's presence in the saddle increases confidence.
Pigeon Island won one of these veterans' handicaps at Ascot last year and was second in another at Aintree. The grey is starting to look well treated again. Pete The Feat is a course and distance winner but has become a little hard to predict. Master Overseer is even more of an enigma but stays well and makes more appeal than Burton Port, who looks a light of former days. Neither Summery Justice nor Tullamore Dew can be ignored but CARRUTHERS ran a cracker in a Grade 3 at Warwick on his reappearance. A repeat of that effort from the top weight would probably suffice and Nico De Boinville takes off 5lb again.
Bodega got off the mark over hurdles at Ludlow last month at the fifth attempt but most of his rivals also arrive in decent form. Roman Flight only found Figaro half-a-length too good at Musselburgh but the winner has let the form down since and he's 5lb higher now. Seventh Sky wasn't beaten far at Wincanton last time while it would be no surprise to see the lightly-raced Kuda Huraa run well after a break and he makes more appeal than Jumps Road. TIQRIS was second in a Listed contest at Exeter last month after winning easily at Wetherby in January. He doesn't look badly treated on those efforts so gets the vote.
Monbeg Dude continues his Grand National preparations in this. He won won a Grade 3 handicap at Cheltenham in December and has developed into a decent stayer. Last year's Scottish National hero Godsmejudge is also Aintree-bound and has been brought along quietly this season. He makes his first appearance since pulling up at Sandown in December. Wayward Prince has ability but never runs two races alike and Mon Parrain has a bit to prove at present. Night In Milan made a lot of the running in the Sky Bet Chase here in January but was eventually pulled up, as was Mart Lane, but he'd earlier had Harry The Viking behind when winning over track and trip. The latter was third behind Golden Call here subsequently when Storm Survivor was only fifth. COURT BY SURPRISE was pulled up in this last year and is 3lb higher now but he's been running well this season in competitive staying handicaps and looks the pick this time around as Renard may not stay.
Paul Nicholls and Venetia Williams are both doubly represented in this. Jockey bookings would suggest course winner ULCK DU LIN might be the pick of the former's pair as, though he's been a bit disappointing this season, he's feasibly handicapped at present and has winning form on the track - he gets a tentative vote. Shangani looks to have the better chance of the latter's two runners having run in this grade at Cheltenham in January before finishing second to Une Artiste at Kempton. Dashing George bounced back to winning ways at Fakenham last month but this is much tougher and Majala and Tara Rose are out of sorts at present.
Awaywiththegreys never seems to run a bad race but you get the impression that the handicapper just has his measure at the moment. Hartforth has shot up the weights after winning three times this season. But he did score by 23 lengths at Catterick last time and may not have stopped improving yet. Towcester winner Ampleforth should improve for the step up to 3m and better going while Dawn Commander has been waiting for the ground to dry out and landed a jumpers' bumper on the Polytrack a couple of weeks ago. DROP OUT JOE just failed to give 6lb to the useful Warden Hill over track and trip in December and then ran well against more experienced rivals in a Pertemps qualifier at Warwick. He's worth an interest today with Kielan Woods taking off 3lb.