Simon Holt bets bets for Newbury and Doncaster

Simon Holt previews the action

Our in-form tipster has two Saturday fancies including a 25/1 chance in the 888Sport Grimthorpe Handicap Chase at Doncaster.

Recommended bets:

2pts win San Benedeto in 3.15 Newbury at 9/1*

1pt ew Cesar Et Rosalie in 3.35 Doncaster at 25/1

* Newbury was abandoned on Saturday morning


SAN BENEDETO, the winner of the William Hill Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup last year, is taken to produce a repeat performance in Saturday's renewal at Newbury.

One of three runners for in-form trainer Paul Nicholls, the nine-year-old seems to have a liking for this course and is bound to have been prepared with this race in mind since his last appearance here in November when finishing fourth behind Old Grangewood, Kalashnikov and Glen Forsa.

I think that was a fair run as, while Kalashnikov has had excuses since (suffering from bleeding issues) and Glen Forsa has been absent, the winner went in again next time at Cheltenham.

In this race last year, San Benedeto had over two lengths in hand of the re-opposing Gala Ball (now 3lb worse off) with Valdez (same terms) another two lengths back in third, and the booking of the promising conditional Bryan Carver, whose 5lb allowance takes the selection back to the same mark, could prove significant.

Nicholls also take some weight off Secret Investor with 3lb claimer Lorcan Williams but drier ground probably suits him better while stable-mate Mont Des Avaloirs will also encounter softer ground than when chasing home Sussex Ranger over nearly three miles here last time.

Benny's King, a winner at Newbury earlier in the season (now up 8lb) and recent Warwick winner Clondaw Castle (up 6lb) may provide the chief threats.

At Doncaster, the complexion of the 888Sport Grimthorpe Handicap Chase could change as both Definitly Red and Saint Xavier have first-preference declarations at Kelso.

Course winner Boldmere bids to continue his recent improvement after a late fall at Wetherby last time but is rising rapidly up the weights as is the hat-trick seeking Worthy Farm after two victories at Wincanton.

In the first of those races on Boxing Day, CESAR ET ROSALIE was still well in touch when unseating his rider at the first fence in the back straight and, while that was a long way from home, he is now 12lb better off with Worthy Farm.

This is a shy at the stumps from the boundary given that Neil Mulholland's charge is likely to start a big price, but the trainer has done really well with chasers like Fingerontheswitch, Soupy Soups and Doing Fine in the last few months and this is another who could be improving.

Cesar Et Rosalie was also returning from a break when winning a valuable chase at Uttoxeter last May and conditions at Doncaster should be in his favour with Tom Scudamore in the saddle. Providing at least eight runners remain, he can repay each-way interest.

Preview posted 1425 GMT on 28/02/2020


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