Small field for big pot looks just the job for veteran Noble Gift
Popular veteran Noble Gift has a great opportunity to pick up the joint-biggest pot of his career when he tackles six rivals at Chelmsford in a race won 12 months ago by leading Dubai Sheema Classic contender Poet's Word.
The £45,000 totequadpot Races 3 To 6 Handicap (3.30) does not have quite the same historical resonance as Kempton's Rosebery Handicap, in which the Canisbay Bloodstock-owned eight-year-old pipped Fire Fighting three years ago, but it is a very attractive prize and one which deserves better support.
William Knight, who has Arab Moon and Jacob Cats in what is likely to be a maximum field for Saturday's Rosebery, is not complaining, and Noble Gift goes to Chelmsford at the top of his form, having failed by just a neck to withstand the strong late flourish of his old sparring partner Fire Fighting at Lingfield last week.
Knight said: "The original idea was to come straight here, then Lingfield reopened and I ran him there. Noble Gift seems to have come out of the race really well and this was too good an opportunity to miss.
"It's very good prize-money, and a small field, which is what he's best in. He's arguably slightly better right-handed, but he's a course-and-distance winner here and I think he'll go really well."
Noble Gift might struggle if there is another Poet's Word in the field, but while three of his rivals were last-time-out winners none has the look of a potential Group-race contender.
Nonios won very cheekily over the course and distance last week but is 3lb badly in under his penalty. His trainer David Simcock has a second string to his bow in Calling Out.
Top weight will be carried by Marco Botti's Kempton winner Kyllachy Gala.
Punters assessing the Wetherby feature might well be drawn to Wings Attract, who races for the first time for Dan Skelton and has had wind surgery since he was last seen 321 days ago.
Wings Attract, who faces seven opponents in the Get Daily Tips At racinguk.com Handicap Chase (4.45), was successful three times for Chris Bealby, most recently off 127 two years ago.
He makes his debut for Skelton off 118 in a race the stable won last year, and he is taking on rivals who are mainly out of form or have been absent even longer.
He is one of four intended rides for Harry Skelton, who was injured when North Hill Harvey suffered a fatal fall in the final race of the Cheltenham Festival and has not ridden since.
Towcester hit by low turnout
The prospect of gruelling conditions at Towcester, where it was soft, heavy in places on Wednesday morning, has no doubt contributed to disappointing fields of just five, four and three on a card which has attracted 55 runners in total.
The four-runner race is the Sheila Ware's 80th Birthday Bash Chase (3.55), a limited handicap in which Prairie Town will bid to confirm narrow Sedgefield superiority over Burrenbridge Hotel, who has been pulled up since.
Laura Morgan's course-and-distance winner Skipping On and Gary Moore's San Pedro De Senam complete the field.
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