By News Team
5th March 2021
From Graded action at Kelso, the Grimthorpe at Doncaster and the weekend’s feature race, the Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury, there’s a bit of something for everyone. Nick Luck has been through the form and pulled out a selection in each of ITV Racing’s nine televised contests.
SINGLEFARMPAYMENT – don’t laugh – is taken to win the first TV race at Newbury on Saturday (1.15) at 7/1. Infamous as a serial loser with no finish and a terrible strike rate over fences, he has nonetheless always been talented and there are grounds for thinking this is a good opportunity. First, the likelihood of a good pace is high, which will suit. Secondly, he often runs well off a break. Thirdly, and perhaps most compelling, he has increasingly looked like a horse that doesn’t want the ground too bad. The hood is left off and he’s come down 6lbs in two runs for this trainer.
ANOTHER CRICK might be the answer to a tough Greatwood Gold Cup (1.50pm), and looks a fair each-way price at 10/1. The trainer, Noel Williams, has had a quiet season, but his stable has shown signs of good form of late and this horse has run really well on both starts since a long absence. Ground, track and trip look perfect and he shouldn’t be too far away if he reproduces his Warwick effort behind Two For Gold.
DO YOUR JOB is a sporting alternative to the front of the market in the Grade 2 Premier Novices’ Hurdle (1.30pm) at Kelso. Although there are a few higher rated and with bigger profiles, this horse was very well fancied for the Grade 1 Tolworth last time before sinking in the Sandown mud. Prior to that he boasts a thrashing of Cadzand and a highly creditable second to Llandinabo Lad (shaped best). That last piece of form doesn’t give him much to find on these terms with My Drogo and, with the benefit of a wind-op, is worth chancing at 14/1.
MEGA YEATS looked quite a smart mare when with Ruth Jefferson a couple of seasons back and might well get back to winning ways at 6/1 in the handicap hurdle (2.05pm). She is looking really well treated on some of that form, and at least confirmed her wellbeing when a decent second to Tomorrow Mystery in a jumper’s bumper at Kempton. The favourite Flash Collonges will take a good chunk of interest here, but his form at Wincanton is slightly suspect.
ASO might be able to reverse the Warwick form with Two For Gold in the Listed Premier Chase (2.40pm). Two For Gold is hard as nails and never goes down without a fight, but he’ll have more shine taken off here by Newbury hero Cloth Cap (who already has his National weight and will be ready to roll). Aso is 9lbs better off for a neck, and is well worth another go at this trip at 5/2.
TOMMY’S OSCAR represents a small stable (Ann Hamilton) that does exceptionally well with its very few runners and he can win the Morebattle Hurdle (3.15pm) at 9/1. I got the feeling from watching him that he was just a shade flat at Musselburgh last time, a run that might have come quickly enough after his previous win. Nonetheless he ran well behind a smart rival, suggesting that he could still be very competitive off this mark.
DRAGON BONES is taken to spring a 25/1 surprise in the Listed Mares Novices’ Hurdle (2.20pm). Although she has never jumped a hurdle in public, she boasts some of the best form in the race. 50/1 on her debut, she won what has turned out to be a surprisingly smart bumper at Worcester. Reappearing after 15 months off at 66/1, she then ran perfectly respectably behind the freakish Eileendover at Market Rasen, arguably shaping second best. As a relative of Yala Enki, she ought to have stamina as her strong suit, and this isn’t a particularly special race for the grade.
BALLYWOOD has been a bit frustrating, but the combination of a falling mark, better ground and a recent pipe opener after a breathing operation make him the one to be with at 6/1 in the 2m handicap chase (2.55pm). I expect him to be ridden a bit more patiently here.
2/1 favourite CANELO is far from an original pick to land the Grimthorpe (3.30pm), but he has very compelling credentials based primarily on his good ground form from Newbury behind Cap du Nord earlier in the season. He held his form very well subsequently, and might well make up into a viable Grand National contender if this goes well.