Man On The Spot: Cliff horse!
Man On The Spot previews the second day of the International meeting from Cheltenham and action from Doncaster.
Cliffs Of Dover: Fancied at Doncaster
Last year's winner Village Vic ran a fine race in the BetVictor Gold Cup on the Old Course here last month, only being worn down close home by Taquin De Seuil. However, Aso, Buywise and Bouvreuil were all in close attendance and that trio can also be given every chance on today's terms. Aloomomo has been well backed in ante-post markets but would need to step up on his comeback run at Ascot and there are also going concerns. THOMAS BROWN had jumping issues last season and was again far from foot-perfect when making a winning return at Aintree. But he gives the impression he could be better than his current mark once everything clicks into place. Kylemore Lough is very tough and made a satisfactory reappearance at Ascot when just denied but Quite By Chance is looking high enough in the weights at present and Roman Flight may get found out in this higher grade.
Wholestone has twice got the better of West Approach this season and only failed by a length to complete a hat-trick in this grade at the last meeting here. He is unlikely to be far away again but is giving weight to unexposed types who will likely be suited by this step up in distance. NO HASSLE HOFF would have been two from two over hurdles had he not fallen at Fontwell. He's a chaser in the making but can pick up some decent prize money over timber this season as he learns his job. Anchor Man could be anything after winning on his debut under Rules at Exeter and Impulsive Star has won a point, a bumper and a hurdle, though has yet to encounter conditions this quick. Ami Desbois has won his last two at Hexham and Haydock but is having his 10th career start this afternoon.
Another small field but Potters Legend is two from two over fences and Peter Fahy has sent Listed winner Bay Of Freedom over from County Kildare in search of a hat-trick. O O SEVEN was a decent novice hurdler last season and could be even better over feces judged on his 10-length defeat of Sizing Tennessee at Cheltenham last month. He can extend his unbeaten record over the larger obstacles as Present Man may be a bit out of his depth in this company.
A chase career has been temporarily put on hold for THE NEW ONE as he bids to win this for the third time. He's won on this track five times in total and another big run is anticipated, despite making his seasonal return, though he was behind My Tent Or Yours in the Champion Hurdle here in March and is 8lb worse off. That said, Nicky Henderson's nine-year-old has never won here and disappointed on his return on heavy ground at Haydock when a couple of lengths behind Melodic Rendezvous. Old Guard won this 12 months ago but was further behind at Haydock and has 4lb more this year Court Minstrel struggles in this grade. But Mister Miyagi hasn't done much wrong in two runs this term and should give a good account.
CLIFFS OF DOVER was ordinary on the Flat but has found his niche over timber, winning five of his six starts to date. He easily beat Tasty Ginger at Kempton in October and has nothing to fear from that one – there is no reason why he can't win again. Only a short-head separated Lord Justice from stablemate Zig Zag at Ballinrobe in October but the gap had widened when they met again at Down Royal last month. Timoteo looks a better long-term prospect than both, however, having progressed with each run in France in the early part of this year, though he makes his debut for Alan King after a break.
BRIERY QUEEN really found her form in the spring, winning a valuable Listed handicap at Newbury in April. She hasn't raced since and reappears on a 7lb higher mark but Barry Geraghty is a very significant jockey booking. Midnight Tour boasts a decent strike-rate and was a very easy winner at Hereford last month – the step up in distance is not a problem. Irish challenger Dalmatia made all at Punchestown last month but may struggle to likewise here and more interesting is the consistent Hannah's Princess. Morning Herald could also play a part long with Jessber's Dream and Debdebdeb.