IAN WILLIAMS is nearly the perfect all-round coach – Flat and jumps – there may be in the mean time.
So, on the day when turf Flat racing goes into hibernation for the winter, there can be no extra acceptable winner of Doncaster’s historic November Handicap (three.15).
The issue for punters is he runs three and none might be written off however I simply want RESTORER.
He had some high-class type for William Muir and appeared near his finest when profitable at Leicester final time on his first try at this 1m4f journey.
He solely simply held the rallying Hochfeld, who reopposes, however there was a small subject that day and Restorer in all probability noticed an excessive amount of daylight.
Getting cowl ought to be no downside on this 23-runner subject! The bonus is that the handicapper solely put him up 1lb and that leaves him nonetheless attractively handled.
OUT AND ABOUT WITH ANDY Andy Ayres has the within scoop from the tracks this week
Stablemates Reshoun and Baydar are additionally pretty weighted however each are in all probability finest on actually testing floor and, unusually for this fixture, that appears unlikely.
Royal Line heads the betting and he definitely impressed when bolting up at Epsom in April however he has not been seen since and was a disappointment when crushed favorite on this 12 months in the past.
Buzz has received three of his final 4 however has been harshly handled for scraping residence at Newbury.
My Lord And Grasp stayed on nicely at York final time and, having defeated his top-class stablemate Younger Rascal as a two-year-old, may very well be thrown in however he could lack the expertise for this.
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Eddystone Rock was third in this last year and runs off a 9lb lower mark. He ran well in Ireland on Sunday but he is another whose backers will be praying for rain.
The joke will be on the bookies if LAUGH A MINUTE lands the Wentworth Stakes at 2.05. Roger Varian is ending the turf season in terrific form and this three-year-old should not be missed.
He is unbeaten in two runs on Town Moor and improved again on his last start when finding only the top-class Tantheem too good in a French Group 3.
Dropping back to Listed company, he is unlikely to meet anything as good here.
Librisa Breeze at his best would have been an exception to that but he has not shown his best in any of his races this year and can only be watched on ground that may be faster than he prefers anyway.
There is a terrific card at Sandown on Sunday where the four-runner intermediate chase (2.20) is a must-watch event as all the runners were progressive last season and they should all win races, possibly including some big ones, this term.
And there is a fascinating veterans chase, named after the now 14-year-old Pete The Feat, who will be trying to win ‘his’ race (3.25).
That would bring the house down but I cannot quite see it although Pete’s trainer, Charlie Longsdon, could still take the prize with his stablemate LOOSE CHIPS.
The bold-jumping front-runner is ideally suited by three miles round the Esher track and boasts career course-and-distance figures of 212132353, a terrific achievement as most of the runs were in competitive handicaps like this one.
On his last start here he was beaten less than three lengths in third off a mark of 139.
He can now run off 9lb lower, he shaped well on his reappearance at Carlisle when just in need of the run and will have been aimed at this race by Longsdon, who has his string in their customary good early-season form. As those form figures prove he is a knocking each-way bet.
Donjuan Triumphant regularly makes the frame in top sprints but is rarely triumphant and is another who likes the ground testing. Hey Jonesy has a similar profile, one with solid placed form but who rarely troubles the judge.
The pick of the jumps action is at Wincanton where the featured Badger Ales Trophy, although lacking its usual quality, is as competitive as ever. I have it filed in the ‘too difficult’ tray.
But the Elite Hurdle (3.00) is a different kettle of fish! For once the race could be well-named as IF THE CAP FITS has the potential to be a Champion Hurdle contender and it is worth chancing that Harry Fry will have him fit enough on his first start since Boxing Day.
He won the novice hurdle at Kempton then, looking every inch a Cheltenham prospect until injury ruled him out. That day he gave Nicky Henderson’s now 141-rated Diese des Bieffes a thrashing and, if he is in similar form, he will be hard to beat.
Plus, of course, If The Cap Fits should make massive improvement this term. Henderson fields the two biggest dangers, We Have A Dream and Verdana Blue.
The former was the top juvenile hurdler last season but has a penalty and four-year-olds often find things tough in their second campaign.
Verdana Blue, in receipt of the mares’ allowance and race-fit after a cosy success at Kempton, may be the one for the forecast.
This could be a big day for Fry as he also runs HELL’S KITCHEN in the big race at Aintree, the 2m4f handicap chase at 2.40, and he has a great chance.
Hereford’s fixture on Monday was typically modest midweek fare but there was an eye-catching seasonal reappearance by the Tom George-trained BOAGRIUS in the 2m5f handicap chase.
He was very easy to back but ran better than the market suggested, staying on nicely without having a hard race to take third in a competitive Class 4 event.
That was just his fourth attempt over the larger obstacles and, off a mark of just 121, George should be able to find the six-year-old a winning opportunity soon.
The seven-year-old is a big horse and can be a bit headstrong but Barry Geraghty gets a good tune out of him and, like many of us, he may be settling down a bit as he gets older!
He beat Cheltenham Festival winner Mister Whitaker comfortably at Kempton over Christmas, with binoculars required to find the third, and on that run he is chucked in.
He has been hard to train but that is probably a plus as he will surely only be risked if he is fully wound up.