It was a disappointing day on Friday for the Top 40 Prospects at Doncaster. The Edgar Wallace ran a decent race in the two miles three maiden hurdle but found the improving Sam Barton took strong. Kim Bailey's charge hadn't jumped particularly well on his hurdles debut at Ascot in November and it was a similar story on Town Moor. Despite that, David Bass' mount was still very much in contention turning for home but couldn't reel in Emma Lavelle's winner. Beaten two and a quarter lengths, the pair were nearly twenty lengths clear of the third. He ought to go one better over timber soon rather than later and may improve for better ground. The six year old will come into his own over fences next season and beyond.
If The Edgar Wallace was frustrating, the highly regarded Flinteur Sacre was bitterly disappointing later on the same card. Too keen on his first try over obstacles at Newbury's Winter Festival in late November, the full brother to Sprinter Sacre was even worse this time around. While he still held every chance turning for home, he was running on empty soon after the second last and eventually trailed in a well beaten twelfth. His bumper runs proved the six year old possesses plenty of ability but he won't fulfil his potential until learning to settle. The Seven Barrows team have got their work cut out.
I am continuing to work on the February Update, which will be emailed to clients on Sunday evening. As discussed, I have nominated a selection of horses who will hopefully make an impact in the Cheltenham Festival Handicaps, there is an interview with Donald McCain who discusses his most promising novices and I have also highlighted certain horses and their targets under the banner of Dates For The Diary - this includes a big price ante-post selection for the Grand National Trial at Haydock, plus a couple of horses who are expected to be aimed at the race formerly known as the Racing Post Chase at Kempton in late February. There is also full analysis of the forthcoming Betfair Hurdle at Newbury. The Update is £6.00 - please head to the Publications section of the site to order a copy, if you haven't already done so.
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