KINGBROOK (3.15) was wrapped in cotton wool for most of the summer but has been brought along steadily ahead of today’s Betfair November Handicap at Doncaster.
Ian Williams unleashed his three-year-old at Sandown towards the end of August and Kingbrook belied his 50-1 odds by running on into third behind Godolphin’s Brilliant Light. The colt reappeared four weeks later, again doing his best work late to take third spot behind Ilaraab and 100-rated Royal Marine in the Dubai Duty Free Handicap at Newbury. Kingbrook was stepped up to 1m 4f last month and ran out a game winner from Loughanini and Kipps at Newmarket.
Sam Cooke is narrow favourite in most books and Ralph Beckett has also played a patient game, probably with this big end-of-season handicap firmly in mind. Sam Cooke hasn’t been seen for 104 days after losing out in a photo to Jeremiah at Ascot. He has little mileage on the clock and a 3lb rise is very fair.
Course winner Tulip Fields should go well at attractive each-way odds and admirable Euchen Glen, fresh from two Group 3 victories at York and Newbury, will have his loyal band of supporters. The ground is officially soft, despite a dry week, and Euchen Glen is at his very best on deep ground. Jim Goldie would probably like to see some rain for his top weight.
The William Hill-sponsored 2m 4f hurdle at Aintree is a crackerjack, with Call Me Lord bidding to emulate last year’s winning stablemate Top Notch for Nicky Henderson. Call Me Lord has an obvious chance but is 10lb worse off with CH’TIBELLO (2.40) on a piece of Cheltenham form last season. Ch’tibello was a close third to Supasundae and Buveur D’Air in the 2019 Aintree Hurdle over this distance and wins a narrow vote, with Thomas Darby and Summerville Boy far from discounted.
The most competitive event at Wincanton is the 3m 1f Badger Beer Silver Trophy Handicap Chase. Local trainer Paul Nicholls is going for his fourth straight victory, with dual winner Present Man heading the weights under Bryony Frost. He lifted a veterans’ chase at Chepstow in a blanket finish last month but Nicholls fields a less exposed pair in DANNY WHIZZBANG (3.35) and My Way.
Danny Whizzbang has had a wind operation since running third to Copperhead and Two For Gold in the Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot in February, having turned over odds-on favourite Reserve Tank at Newbury on Hennessy day. My Way is nearer the bottom of the weights but showed enough when hunting up Espoir De Guye over 2m 2f at Ascot before Christmas to make him of interest.
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