Destrier can make use of match fitness in Warwick's marathon race
CAROLE’S DESTRIER has had his share of problems recently but can begin to make up for lost time in the Betfred Classic Handicap Chase (3.35) at Warwick on Saturday.
Neil Mulholland’s standard-bearer produced his best effort on the stopwatch when runner-up behind Native River in the Hennessy at Newbury the season before last but was then injured in the Welsh National and was sidelined for the rest of that campaign.
He reappeared in the Ladbrokes Trophy last month won by Total Recall but was well beaten as lack of match fitness took its toll. He will strip fitter on Saturday and the marathon trip should play to his strengths.
Duel At Dawn has time on his side in the Betfred Home Of Goals Galore Hampton Novices’ Chase (1.50).
Alex Hales’s eight-year-old was a promising runner-up behind Knight Of Noir on his chasing bow at Chepstow in October and deservedly went one better at Exeter the following month.
He could not match strides with Sizing Tennessee at Cheltenham but posted smart figures in defeat and can resume winning ways.
Count Meribel is favoured by the figures in the Ballymore Leamington Novices’ Hurdle (3.00).
A dual Carlisle winner this season, Nigel Twiston-Davies’s six-year-old completed his treble in good style at Ascot in November and then beat all but Kilbricken Storm at Cheltenham last month.
Worn down on the run-in at Prestbury Park, his improved Topspeed rating confirmed his progress and on the clock he looks the one to beat.
Bun Doran was a beaten favourite on his seasonal return at Cheltenham last month but can make amends in Saturday’s Totescoop 6 Play Today Handicap Chase (2.15) at Wetherby.
A Newcastle scorer last term Tom George’s seven-year-old acquitted himself well at the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals and found Gino Trail just too good on his reappearance.
Mistakes at the last two fences did not help his cause on that occasion, but granted a clear round he will be tough to beat.
Gumball had his hat-trick bid foiled by smart Apple’s Shakira at Cheltenham in November but can pick up the winning thread in the Smarkets Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle (3.00) at Huntingdon.
Formerly trained in France, Philip Hobbs’s four-year-old was a wide-margin Stratford winner when making all on his British debut in October and followed up in similar style at Chepstow two weeks later.
He jumped indifferently when well beaten by Apple’s Shakira but despite his reversal earned his best speed figures so far. His conqueror has underlined the form since and after a lean spell the Hobbs team have been back among the winners recently. He is also top-rated in the opener (12.20) at Kempton on Saturday.
At Lingfield, Human Nature can supplement last month’s Chelmsford success in the Play Starburst Slot At Sunbets.Co.Uk/Vegas Handicap.
A Kempton winner in July, Stuart Williams’ five-year-old found one too good there and at Chelmsford and deserved his recent success.
Effective at both six and seven furlongs, he earned career-best figures last month and can win for the third time in just six starts on the all-weather. He is also entered in the furlong-shorter Betway Sprint Handicap (2.00) at the same track on Saturday.
Amazour may prove the answer to the Sun Bets Conditions Stakes (6.45) at Newcastle. A dual course winner over six furlongs in the past, Ismail Mohammed’s six-year-old scored at Doncaster in September but was well beaten at Ascot the following month.
Freshened up since, he has gone well after a break in the past and should be in the shake-up.
Tree Of Liberty (126) was a convincing winner in a standout time at Ludlow last Wednesday and, despite an 8lb hike in the weights, Kerry Lee’s recent acquisition (pictured below) could make his presence felt in the (1.15) at Warwick on Saturday.
Choice Encounter (79) had a bit left in the locker when gaining an overdue success at Kempton on Saturday and there may be more to come from Michael Bell’s improving three-year-old.
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