Competitive field assemble for one-time leading handicap
Betfred Mandarin Handicap Chase (Class 3) | 3m2f | 4yo+ | RUK
The only indication that this 0-130 handicap chase might have been the same one taken by Mill House, Jodami, Night Nurse and Maori Venture in years gone by is the grand title and an above-average prize fund.
Nonetheless, one or both of those factors virtually ensures that a competitive field faces the starter every year and it is no different this time with 12 being declared including three last-time winners and a handful of others bringing recent form in a higher grade.
Top weight Potters Cross, who carries 12st 2lb minus the 7lb claim of conditional James King, ran in the Paddy Power two starts ago but was run off his feet. He fared better in the Welsh National Trial at Chepstow back at 3m and, like many, might well find the even longer trip suitable.
Bob Tucker and Conas Taoi both represent the London National form – neither beaten more than six lengths – while at the bottom of the handicap, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Yanmare has gone up 30lb in the handicap for three thumping victories this winter.
Ben's the man
Ben Pauling, trainer of Treaty Girl has a cracking record here at Newbury, with five winners from 17 runners including last year's winner of this race, Silvergrove.
Winner round here
Potters Cross has run just once before at Newbury and that was a successful visit. He beat Viva Steve here in April to gain a first win over fences.
What They Say
Ben Pauling, trainer of Treaty Girl
I thought she ran well at Cheltenham considering the trip was short enough and the ground quick enough. She was flat out all the way. The ground isn't much softer here, but the longer trip will suit her. She's such a straightforward little mare and she's been around Cheltenham already, so even though it's a competitive race around Newbury on her third start over fences, I think she'll be fine.
Nigel Twiston-Davies, trainer of I Am Colin and Yanmare
Yanmare looked useless last year, but he's only six and he's taken off this winter. He's been staying on at the end of races, too, so I expect the longer trip will suit him. Both of ours won last time out and we have no preference between them, Sam is only on I Am Colin because he's ridden him before and knows him a bit better.
Oliver Sherwood, trainer of Blameitalonmyroots and Financial Climate
Blameitallonmyroots suffered a nasty cut at Ascot last time, which is why she hasn't run since. She's fine now and the track, trip, ground, everything seems to be right for her. Financial Climate is a standing dish in this race, I think he's run in it the last three years. His form's deteriorated quite a lot, which is why we've tried the blinkers and he's even been out hunting for a couple of days. If it's sweetened him up we might be hopeful of some place money.