Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Titans of the race track to vie for Doncaster honours
Doncaster’s final jumps meeting of the season today is highlighted by the presence of the two biggest names in the weighing room.
Tony McCoy and Ruby Walsh, who will both be in the thick of the action throughout the Cheltenham Festival in under two weeks’ time, form a joint star attraction on Town Moor – and both look likely to figure among the winners.
Walsh promises to emerge with the lion’s share, including winning the featured £50,000 William Hill Grimthorpe Handicap Chase on Join Together.
Trained by Paul Nicholls, Join Together, twice a winner over fences at Cheltenham last season, failed by only half a length to beat talented veteran – and course specialist – Hello Bud in the Becher Chase at Aintree in early December.
A stout stayer, who enjoys good ground, the eight-year-old can clinch this valuable prize.
Walsh and Nicholls can start the day in style courtesy of Themilanhorse in the Park Hill Hospital Novices’ Chase.
Restricted this season to only three starts, the latest when fifth in a ‘jumpers’ bumper’, Themilanhorse is set to make his chasing debut in this three- runner affair.
A 140-rated hurdler, he should have too much firepower for his rivals.
McCoy can win the £20,000 William Hill Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle on Ma Filleule for Nicky Henderson.
Tough, talented and ultra- consistent, Ma Filleule gained her second success of the season after useful placed efforts at Taunton and Newbury when winning a Grade race at Warwick three weeks ago at the main expense of Swincombe Flame.
She has to concede weight to her rivals this afternoon, but she promises to be up to the task.
Keith Reveley can share in the honours at Doncaster, where Flat racing will take place in three weeks with the Lincoln Handicap taking pride of place.
The Saltburn trainer has good prospects of enjoying a double with previous course winner Kings Grey, who returns to fences after a two-month break in the TRM Handicap Chase, and Cue To Cue, who gave the classy Peddlers Cross something to think about on her comeback outing after an absence at Musselburgh last month. She runs in the William Hill Handicap Hurdle.
Phil Kirby, previously a neighbour of Reveley but now based at Middleham, can also make his presence felt.
He saddles Avidity in the William Hill National Hunt Flat Race and if she can reproduce her half-length second to Reveley’s Dance Of Time here in January, she will surely take plenty of beating under Kyle James.
At Sedgefield tomorrow, Kirby and James can also strike with the in-form Ancient Times in the 32Red Casino Handicap Chase.
The six-year-old has won his last two starts, a hurdle at Ayr and a chase here. A hat-trick looks to be on the cards for the North Yorkshire gelding.
The 32RedBet.com National Hunt Flat Race brings together three previous course and distance winners.
The pick of them may well be Irish raider Izzini, who scored by 11 lengths on his debut.
He has a five-month absence to overcome, but he is napped to beat Enchanted Garden and Master Rajeem, who also have winning form on this course this term.
1.15 Themilanhorse, 1.45 Ma Filleule, 2.20 Kings Grey, 2.55 Join Together, 3.30 Cue To Cue, 4.05 Lienosus, 4.40 Avidity.
Today’s other meetings: Kelso, Lingfield and Newbury.
2.20 Walkabout Creek, 2.50 Rowan Road, 3.20 Along Came Rosie, 3.50 Antonius Caesar, 4.20 Izzini (NAP), 4.50 Ancient Times, 5.20 Sleep In First.
Tomorrow’s other meeting: Huntingdon.
• Today’s nap is Athaakeel (2.50 Lingfield)