David Clough has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland on Wednesday with the best bet running at Doncaster.
DONCASTER: 1.45 Kensington Art, 2.20 The Late Legend, 2.55 Patroclus, 3.30 Beau Bay, 4.05 Portstorm, 4.35 LAW OF GOLD (NAP), 5.05 Skytastic.
KEMPTON: 4.40 Night Narcissus, 5.15 Album, 5.45 Illustrator, 6.15 Perfect Focus, 6.45 Top Fox, 7.15 Hint Of Stars, 7.45 Paxos, 8.15 Born To Finish.
LUDLOW: 1.20 Olympic Conqueror, 1.55 Brooksway Fair, 2.30 Butler’s Brief, 3.05 Lust For Glory, 3.40 Volcano, 4.15 Minella Royale, 4.45 Ey Up Rocky.
PUNCHESTOWN: 2.10 Black Tears, 2.45 Wall Of Fame, 3.20 Pont Du Gard, 3.55 Lynwood Gold, 4.25 Humble Glory, 4.55 Royal Rhythm, 5.25 Modreeney.
SOUTHWELL: 12.30 Smokey Malone, 1.00 Owhatanight, 1.30 Slowmo, 2.05 Ornate, 2.40 Niven, 3.15 Red Allure, 3.50 Loose Chippings.
DOUBLE: Patroclus and Law Of Gold.
Law Of Gold should take charge in the Virgin Bet Open Hunters’ Chase at Doncaster.
David Kemp’s stable star still has the potential and time on his side to rise to the top in this sphere.
Law Of Gold graduated through the ranks two seasons ago with four successive victories, following three verdicts in point-to-points with a command performance in the novice championship John Corbet Cup on his rules debut at Stratford’s hunter chase meeting.
He appeared to relish the near mid-summer ground that evening, and has been largely kept to a sound surface since his Irish debut on soft.
It is therefore very much in the eight-year-old’s favour that conditions are set to dry out on Town Moor, where he should have the measure of an admittedly decent field if returning at anywhere near his peak form.
Law Of Gold had jumping issues as a novice pointer, but has been assured in that department for the past two campaigns.
He has won all but one of his last six, was fit enough for an easy win on his first start of the season just over a year ago and then beaten only in the highest hunter grade when he fared admirably nonetheless at the Cheltenham Festival – especially on ground softer than ideal.
His regular pilot is unable to join him here, given the ongoing halt in amateur-rider participation during pandemic restrictions, but it is no detriment that the talented Theo Gillard instead claims his 7lb.
Earlier on a good midweek card, Patroclus can uphold Nicky Henderson’s fine Doncaster record in the Virgin Bet EBF ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle.
The five-year-old broke his duck at the third attempt, in determined fashion at Exeter, having previously finished runner-up in both an Irish point-to-point and Warwick maiden hurdle.
He was a well-beaten odds-on favourite at Warwick, but the winner went on to run very well in a course-and-distance Grade Two next time.
Significantly back in trip at Exeter, Patroclus rallied to justify favouritism – and although his nearest pursuer subsequently did nothing for the form, he too had previously twice shown himself to be useful, and third home Fletch won at Uttoxeter on Sunday.
This move back up in distance, at a track with a long straight but no uphill finish, looks spot on.
The Virgin Bet Veterans’ Handicap Chase provides a showcase for several old favourites – among whom Beau Bay may have most in his favour.
Richard Newland’s Grand Sefton winner was in nothing like the same form at Wetherby on Boxing Day, already beaten when falling in a good edition of the Rowland Meyrick.
His finishing effort to prevail at Aintree suggests this three miles should be fine, though, and he appeared to get home adequately with a 15-length sixth at Kempton last month.
Down 2lb for that effort, the former two-miler has prospects of turning the tables on Ami Desbois if more prominently ridden here – and should at least get himself involved in the finish.
Portstorm is of note too, in the Virgin Bet Handicap Hurdle.
Ian Duncan’s Ayr winner has been much-improved on his two starts this season, including when belying odds of 50-1 to be second at Grade Two level over course and distance last time.
He has gone up 7lb but could still be very well-treated here.
Night Narcissus can bloom before sunset in the opening Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day Apprentice Handicap on Kempton’s evening all-weather card.
Bradley Harris takes over on Clive Cox’s filly, in pursuit of his third career win.
Night Narcissus got off the mark herself at Wolverhampton last month, having been placed in each of her other four attempts, and she returns to handicap company on a very feasible rating.
Hint Of Stars is an appropriate representative for both jockey Benoit De La Sayette and trainer Kevin Philippart De Foy in the Try Our New Price Boosts At Unibet Handicap.
Both are fast making a name for themselves, and Hint Of Stars can consolidate their swift progress with the help of his talented young apprentice’s 7lb claim as all three bid for their hat-trick together in a competitive but winnable race.