Band Of Blood continues resurgence with veterans' strike at Doncaster

Wed 21 Feb 2018

Band Of Blood defied a penalty for a recent win at Exeter when storming home to land the Polypipe Veterans' Handicap Chase at Doncaster.

The 10-year-old had Grade One form in his early days in Ireland, but joined Dr Richard Newland having completely lost his way.

After five runs for Newland that yielded little, he had tumbled down the handicap and took full advantage last time out following a lengthy absence.

Hit with a 16lb rise, he was only carrying a 7lb penalty but needed Sam Twiston-Davies to be at his best to collar Sego Success, who eventually faded into third behind Halo Moon.

"I'm thrilled with his win, obviously it was a big ask going again just 10 days after a long break," said Newland of the 2-1 favourite.

"We felt we had to come as we were going up a fair bit in the handicap. He's had to work for it, but I'm very pleased to get the job done.

"It was heavy last time out and decent ground today, so it shows he's not dependent on anything.

"He ran off 126 today with his penalty, his new mark is 131 so they can't really put him up that much more, I wouldn't think.

"He's in at Cheltenham, but I doubt he'd get a run, so we might look at AIntree.

"His owner (John Provan) is Scottish, so he'd love him to run in the Scottish National. He'll be entered in that and the Bet365 Gold Cup and run in one of those."

Buckle Street (4-1 favourite) was a game winner of the Alan Wood Plumbing And Heating Ltd Handicap Hurdle.

Having whipped round at the start at Sandown a few days ago, connections will have just been happy to see him take part and the way he battled on grimly under conditional Harry Stock will have given them hope going forwards.

Alan King's Canelo built on a series of decent efforts to get off the mark in the British Stallion Studs EBF "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle.

Sent off the 13-8 favourite, the return to a sounder surface helped Wayne Hutchinson's mount, who was only a length behind Champion Bumper favourite Blackbow in a point-to-point.

The Ben Case-trained First Drift (13-2) made most of the running and ran out an impressive winner in the Planet Platforms Ltd Novices' Hurdle. Odds-on favourite Air Navigator was a big disappointment for Tom George.

There was a turn up in the hunter chase, with last year's Cheltenham winner Pacha Du Polder only third to Warden Hill (2-1).

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