How lucky were we to have Doncaster to save us from a Saturday with no jumps racing?
Two horses at polar ends of their careers lit up a gloomy afternoon on Town Moor. Shishkin, to my eye, looked faultless as he dismissed the 149-rated Eldorado Allen with ease, while Takingrisks, at the veteran stage of his career, showed that he’s still very much up for a scrap with a game success in the Sky Bet Chase.
A nod, too, for Aye Right a valiant runner up. He’ll get his day yet, possibly in the Ultima Chase on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.
For Monday the jumps show rolls on to what will surely be a soggy Sedgefield where I have three selections:
1.30 Sedgefield: Hart Of Steel at a general 13-2
There are plenty with chances in this and I’m sure Martinhal will be well supported, but I’m not sure his opening mark is particularly generous.
Equally, Laskadine looks to have a solid chance as yet another horse rejuvenated by the switch to the Ben Haslam yard, but the form of his last win does not look to be particularly strong and he’s been given a 10lb hike in the weights.
Hart Of Steel has already beaten Laskadine once this season, when giving him 13lb, and now only has to concede 8lb.
He will love the ground and the McCain/Hughes combination do not need me to endorse them. I’ll be disappointed if he does not go very close.
2.30 Sedgefield: Getaway Jewel at 5-1 with bet365
Getaway Jewel has run respectably in his past two runs over 2m and 2m3f on soft ground when doing all his best work in the later stages.
I’m confident even more testing ground and two extra furlongs will bring about the improvement required to land this contest.
3.00 Sedgefield: Event Of Sivola at a general 11-2
Sigurd is clearly in fine fettle and has won his past two races very comfortably - including at Catterick in late December where he beat the reopposing Event Of Sivola by a cosy 11 lengths.
However, the latter returns for the rematch with a very favourable swing of 21lb in the weights, plus the effective Joe Williamson lightening the load by a further 7lb.
I think this shift in the weights makes it far from a certainty that Sigurd will confirm the form and, given the disparity in the prices, I’m happy to side with Event Of Sivola.
Select any odd to add a bet