1pt win Tide Times in 1.00 Doncaster at 3/1 (William Hill)
1pt win Magic Saint in 1.55 Cheltenham at 6/1 (General)
1pt win My Bobby Dazzler in 2.45 Doncaster at 9/2 (General)
1pt win Nuts Well in 3.20 Doncaster at 20/1 (General)
There has been no stopping Northumberland trainer Ann Hamilton who, from just a handful of horses, has sent out ten winners at a strike rate of 43% this season and is fancied to add to the victory of Champion Hurdle hope Tommy's Oscar at Haydock last week with stable-stalwart NUTS WELL off top weight in the Sky Bet Handicap Chase at Doncaster.
The 11-year-old is venturing into new territory here over three miles but I think he has a chance of getting it (his half-brother Runswick Royal stayed) and the prevailing good ground on Town Moor will place less emphasis on stamina and a bit more on class.
In the latter department, Nuts Well should not be found wanting; after scoring at Kelso off 157 in October, he finished an excellent fifth behind Allmankind, Itchy Feet, Midnight Shadow (now 13lb worse off) and Fanion D'Estruval in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree, a race he won last season before chasing home Fakir D'Oudairies at Grade One level on the same course in April.
A recent defeat at Wetherby over short of two miles has resulted in a 3lb drop in the ratings and, if he gets the trip here, Nuts Well looks good enough to win for his in-form yard despite being somewhat ignored in the market.
There are also small stamina concerns surrounding other leading contenders like Midnight Shadow and Kapcorse, while Fusil Raffles would probably have finished a distant second on one previous try over three miles in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in October but for the fall of Shan Blue.
Earlier, TIDE TIMES has solid claims in the Sky Bet Extra Places Every Day Handicap Chase.
In what looks an uncompetitive affair, the Ian Williams-trained grey remains well handicapped on his hurdles form (rated 122 at one stage and now 114 over fences) and was just outstayed in deep ground at Exeter last time behind a progressive winner in Le Milos before which his saddle slipped at Newbury the previous month.
On this good ground, Tide Times was a decent second to the promising Hunny Moon at Market Rasen in November when he jumped well until blundering at the last, and either of those two completed runs may prove good enough here fitted with a tongue-strap for the first time.
It's also worth noting that Williams has an excellent record on the course being the third most successful trainer at Doncaster, behind Nicky Henderson and Dan Skelton, over the past five years.
In the Grade Two Albert Bartlett River Don Novices' Hurdle, MY BOBBY DAZZLER is the pick of the weights on adjusted official ratings despite being dropped 2lb for a perfectly creditable fourth in a handicap at Cheltenham on New Years Day.
Before that, the seven-year-old looked a big improver when bolting up by 21 lengths at Aintree over three miles having previously appeared in need of this trip when a staying-on fourth in another handicap hurdle at Cheltenham over two-miles-and-five furlongs.
Back in novice company, My Bobby Dazzler can make his handicapping experience count and there shouldn't be any concerns with regard to course, trip or ground.
Down at Cheltenham, MAGIC SAINT has a good chance of returning to winning form in the Paddy Power Cheltenham Countdown Podcast Handicap Chase.
The Paul Nicholls-trained French import has probably not quite fulfilled the high reputation which accompanied him across the Channel but he still hit a rating of 159 after beating Fanion D'Estruval over two miles on the Old Course in November, 2020.
Magic Saint is without a win since but has steadily dropped to a seriously attractive mark, and he is now 10lb lower than when chasing home Manofthemountain over this course and distance on good ground last April.
That rating has been reduced for a reason after three unsuccessful forays this term, but he was far from disgraced here wearing cheek pieces for the first time on New Year's Day when close up jumping the last before finishing fourth behind Vienna Court (soft), and the forecasted surface this time will make life easier with Tom Buckley taking off 5lb.
Published at 1430 GMT on 28/01/22
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