Paul Nicholls' fine run of form can continue in Tuesday's Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter, according to Anita Chambers.
Anita Chambers tips
EXETER: 12.55 Ask A Honey Bee, 1.25 Noble Behest, 1.55 Dal Horrisgle, 2.25 GREANETEEN (NAP), 2.55 Red River, 3.25 Orchardstown Cross, 3.55 Airgead Suas, 4.25 Lady Chuffnell.
FAIRYHOUSE: 12.45 Fauguernon, 1.15 Rock On Barney, 1.45 Jeff Kidder, 2.15 Gabynako, 2.45 The Dreams Alive, 3.15 Influential Lady, 3.45 Yamato, 4.15 Royal Kahala.
NEWCASTLE: 4.07 London Arch, 4.45 Space Kid, 5.15 Tamigi, 5.45 Kratos, 6.15 Fighter Pilot, 6.45 Traveller, 7.15 The Mackem Torpedo, 7.45 Rayyan, 8.15 Blue Dawn.
REDCAR: 12.40 House Deposit, 1.10 Pretty Pickle, 1.40 Josiebond, 2.10 Le Cheval Rapide, 2.40 Bobby Shaft, 3.10 Finoah, 3.40 Eagle Court, 4.10 Cornerstone Lad.
SOUTHWELL: 1.33 Beat The Heat, 2.03 Coqueta, 2.33 Vape, 3.03 Amazing Amaya, 3.33 Lord Of The Glen, 4.03 Pride Of UK, 4.33 Harmonious, 5.03 Keane’s Kingdom.
DOUBLE: Ask A Honey Bee and Greaneteen.
Greaneteen can signal a successful season ahead with a winning return in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter.
Paul Nicholls’ six-year-old won his first three chases as a novice last season, before being pitched into the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival.
He ran a fine race in that notoriously competitive handicap too, beaten little more than five lengths into fourth after making a mistake when short of room at the second-last.
It was a performance which suggested Greaneteen was perhaps caught out by inexperience – racing against 17 opponents after meeting only a total of 19 in those three previous victories.
There was no doubt about his potential, though – and his finishing effort up the hill at Cheltenham also suggested the extra furlong at this stiff track will not bother him.
Nicholls has entered Greaneteen in this month’s Paddy Power Gold Cup back at Prestbury Park, while he has also been mentioned as a left-field outsider in this season’s Queen Mother Champion Chase ante-post market.
His return in Devon is eagerly-awaited, and will doubtless help the multiple champion trainer decide whether middle-distance handicaps or championship races over the minimum trip are the way forward for him.
Either way, he can be expected to acquit himself well in this Grade Two limited handicap which has a rich roll of honour over the years – including Nicholls’ own future champion chaser Politologue three years ago and the brilliant stayer Cue Card back in 2012.
Greaneteen will not need to be quite as good as either of them to win what is nonetheless a typically competitive renewal.
The remainder of the card is full of interest too, not least the opening first division of the Kenn Novices’ Hurdle – which may fall to Ask A Honey Bee.
Fergal O’Brien’s six-year-old has won four of his five races under rules, starting with three successive bumpers before managing only 13th of 23 in Cheltenham’s championship event for that discipline.
He returned with an all-the-way victory on his hurdles debut at Wetherby three weeks ago, displaying great determination to do so and indicating that this move up in trip to a stiff course is the right option.
Dal Horrisgle is a fascinating contender in the Kennford Novices’ Hurdle.
Now with Alan King, he was smart on the Flat for William Haggas and was rated 102 at his peak.
He has had a recent spin in that sphere so will be fit, and if he takes to hurdles could go close to the top.
The Harcombe Handicap Chase, over an extended three miles, will provide a good stamina test – and that should be to the liking of Orchardstown Cross.
The nine-year-old goes exceptionally well fresh and won this race last year.
He is 7lb higher, but first time out will be the time to catch him right.
On the Flat at Redcar, Le Cheval Rapide may live up to his name with victory at the third attempt in the British Stallions Studs EBF Novice Stakes.
Declan Carroll’s juvenile improved on his debut third when he was beaten just a neck into second over this course and distance last time out.
He has obvious prospects of going one better again.
Bobby Shaft is likely to relish these soft, late-season conditions – having done exactly that when a heavy-ground winner at Doncaster last time.
Trainer John Wainwright unsurprisingly seeks to make some more hay, and the Watch Racing TV In HD Handicap over the same trip – from just a 3lb higher mark – looks a very feasible opportunity.
Later on the card, David O’Meara’s Eagle Court bids for a hat-trick in the Join Racing TV Now Handicap – and after twice producing a telling late flourish to win only narrowly on similarly testing surfaces, he will be a big danger to all again.