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Gundry bids for repeat Devon National success with Dawson City

Dawson City: last year's winner returns off a 4lb higher mark
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4.20 Exeter
Healthy Pets Devon National Handicap Chase | 3m6½f, 5yo+ | RTV

Polly Gundry hopes history will repeat itself in the Devon National as Dawson City bids for back-to-back wins in the marathon chase.

The ten-year-old, owned by Ian Payne and Kim Franklin, returns off a 4lb higher mark than when successful last year and will be ridden by Tom Bellamy for the first time.

Dawson City finished seventh in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow in December under James Best, who rides the Victor Dartnell-trained Dancing Shadow.

Gundry said: “This is the perfect target for Dawson City and he ran a super race in the Welsh National last time.

“The good to soft ground will be fine for him. He’s not the speediest horse on the planet but he keeps responding and hopefully Tom Bellamy will prove a good substitute.”

Chic Name back to ideal trip

Richard Hobson has been dealt a blow with Cotswold Chase fourth Allysson Monterg ruled out for the season after tweaking a tendon injury at Cheltenham, but he hopes fellow staying chaser Chic Name can run a big race in the 3m6½f contest.

Chic Name is proven over this trip following victory in the Highland National at Perth in April and will be ridden by Paul O’Brien.

Hobson said: “Chic Name is in good order and I’m looking forward to running him over his optimum trip.

“He handles most variations of ground and I’m hoping he’ll run a big race.”

Mikey riding for Maggie's

Mikey Hamill will sport the logo of Maggie's Cancer Charity on his breeches for the first time as part of a new sponsorship aboard Another Venture, who has helped to raise £25,000 for the charity in the past two seasons.

The Racing for Maggie's Partnership is made up of owners whose families have received support from the centre in Cheltenham.

Henry Kimbell, partnership manager, said: "All of the owners recognise the unique association this partnership has with the charity and we wanted to take it one step further by sponsoring Mikey.

"Mikey is a jockey who is receiving more and more rides and we look forward to watching him develop as the year progresses."

Actor factor

Grade 2-placed hurdler Samuel Jackson has made a promising start to his chasing career, winning a novice chase at Exeter last month on his third start over fences.

The Richard Mitford-Slade-trained seven-year-old is open to improvement and could be fairly treated off a mark of 133.

What the rest say

David Pipe, trainer of Aurillac
He ran a lot better last time and, if he can lay up for the first half of the race, he should be staying on at the end. The step up in trip should suit but he would prefer softer ground.

Anthony Honeyball, trainer of Jepeck
It’s a bit of a fact-finding mission but the combination of good to soft ground and this extreme trip will hopefully give him a reasonable chance. He went up 17lb for his first win under rules at the age of nine last time, which seems very harsh, but he’s in good order and I’m looking forward to it.

Phil Kirby, trainer of Courtown Oscar
He ran well for a long way on his return over hurdles at Haydock and has come on for the run. He’ll probably come on again after this race but hopefully he’s got a chance. He would probably appreciate softer ground but as long as it’s safe he’ll be fine.

Nigel Hawke, trainer of Calin Du Brizais
He ran a blinder at Plumpton and was beaten by a well-handicapped horse. He always runs a sound race so I’m expecting another good run. It’s a race we’ve always thought would suit him.

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This is the perfect target for Dawson City and he ran a super race in the Welsh National last time
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