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13:55 Newbury

Good To Soft

DJB Cleaning Ltd Handicap Chase (For The Harwell Trophy) (Challenger Staying Chase Series Qualifier)

  • Prize money: £10562
  • 2m 7f 86y
  • Class 3
  • 13 runners
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DJB Cleaning Ltd Handicap Chase (For The Harwell Trophy) (Challenger Staying Chase Series Qualifier)

Runners: 13 runners

Type: Chase Turf

Surface: Turf

Weather: Cloudy

Abandoned

Form: 9P44-3 D

Last run: 39 days

W: 12st 2lb

9 yo Gelding

OR: 132

Form & Verdict

Rather lost his way last season after his November win but last month's reappearance third at Chepstow was a step back in the right direction; had wind surgery soon afterwards and is also now tongue tied for the first time; off 1lb lower than his last winning mark, he has to be considered.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

6th

4

2nd Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 118y

Class 3

15:32 Newbury

Fern Hill

11st 9lb

J: Jack Quinlan

T: Ben Case

led narrowly or disputed lead, headed 2 out, weakened approaching last

6/1

2

15th Feb 2024

Soft

3m 0f 37y

Class 3

16:15 Sandown

Fern Hill

12st 0lb

J: Jack Quinlan

T: Ben Case

Best form for a year when third at Chepstow (2m7f, heavy) in December; had wind surgery soon afterwards and pulled up when tongue tied first time at Lingfield last month, perhaps with 3m5f playing a part but others today are a bit more persuasive.

11/1

0

1

21st Jan 2024

Good To Soft

3m 4f 178y

Class 3

15:35 Lingfield

Fern Hill

12st 0lb

J: Daryl Jacob

T: Ben Case

Untested beyond about 3m but he returned to form when third behind subsequent Welsh National winner Nassalam at Chepstow (2m7f, heavy) last month and has had wind surgery since; wears a first-time tongue-tie and could be in the mix if seeing out the trip.

9/1

Form: 44-3P1

Last run: 22 days

W: 12st 1lb

9 yo Gelding

OR: 131

Form & Verdict

With new stable this term and the switch to blinkers from cheekpieces seemingly worked when he won at Wincanton (3m1f, good to soft) three weeks ago under Alice Stevens; the blinkers are now replaced by first-time visor; going back up 4lb does not look harsh.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

7th

3

27th Jan 2024

Good

2m 7f 214y

Class 3

15:50 Doncaster

Stellar Magic

10st 13lb

J: Lilly Pinchin

T: Billy Aprahamian

Bounced back quickly from a disappointing run (in cheekpieces) to open chasing account in first-time blinkers at Wincanton (3m1f, good to soft) last month; not one to rely upon heavily but recent 4lb rise ought to be manageable if he responds well to a first-time visor.

11/2

1st

2

26th Dec 2023

Good To Soft

3m 1f 30y

Class 3

13:28 Wincanton

Stellar Magic

12st 2lb

J: Alice Stevens

T: Billy Aprahamian

Very respectable third on seasonal/stable debut at Huntingdon (2m7f, good to soft) last month but ought to have been suited by the soft ground when pulled up at Ludlow three weeks ago and today's headgear switch needs to perk him up.

20/1

OUR TIP

Form: 3P6P-9 D

Last run: 68 days

W: 11st 12lb

10 yo Gelding

OR: 128

Form & Verdict

Ran no race when one of the market leaders for last season's Welsh National (10lb lower today) and has achieved little in his only three subsequent appearances; cheekpieces are given a go.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

1st

12

11th Feb 2024

Heavy

3m 0f 54y

Class 2

16:35 Exeter

Ask Me Early

10st 6lb

J: Jonathan Burke

T: Harry Fry

Became disappointing during light campaign last season and was soundly beaten over C&D on reappearance outing in November; well handicapped and has conditions to suit, but the addition of cheekpieces needs to make a big difference.

10/1

Form: -114P7

Last run: 28 days

W: 11st 10lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 126

Form & Verdict

Won over about 3m1f at Ludlow (good to soft) last May and followed up at Newton Abbot (3m2f, soft; 2lb higher today) in October; right out of form in his three starts since, however.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

5th

2

31st Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 4f 25y

Class 3

15:55 Leicester

Jet Plane

11st 11lb

J: Fergus Gillard

T: Dan Skelton

His form has nosedived since kickstarting this term with 3m1f wins at Ludlow and Newton Abbot, beating only one back at Ludlow last time; others appeal more.

14/1

7th

4

20th Dec 2023

Good To Soft

2m 7f 171y

Class 3

12:40 Ludlow

Jet Plane

11st 3lb

J: Fergus Gillard

T: Dan Skelton

Won over further here in May (good to soft) and followed up 146 days later at Newton Abbot (3m2f, soft); now has to bounce back from two blips and, even if he can, his current mark looks challenging.

8/1

Form: 3584-7 CD

Last run: 33 days

W: 11st 10lb

11 yo Gelding

OR: 126

Form & Verdict

Front-runner whose only win in the last three years came in this race in 2022; 6lb lower today, having had patchy form since; could be all the better now he has a run behind him this term, but brings mixed messages.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

2

3rd Mar 2024

Good To Soft

2m 7f 214y

Class 3

15:15 Doncaster

Storm Control

12st 1lb

J: Joe Anderson

T: Kerry Lee

disputed lead, led from 2nd, not fluent 11th, not fluent and headed 3 out, soon weakened quickly, eased and pulled up before 2 out

9/2

7th

6

15th Dec 2023

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 2

14:25 Cheltenham

Storm Control

10st 7lb

J: Richard Patrick

T: Kerry Lee

Front-runner who had two wins here in 2020 but has not fared nearly so well here since; well handicapped judged on three runs in January-April 2022 but not so hot in three runs late last year and has not been seen since; despite recent wins for the yard, which won this race in November last year, his first-time-out record is a big worry.

4/1

Abandoned

Form: -24532 D BF

Last run: 33 days

W: 11st 8lb

11 yo Gelding

OR: 124

Form & Verdict

Losing run goes back to June 2021 but most performances over the last year would see him on the premises; second at Doncaster last month, when back from three months off and 10lb claimer Oscar Palmer was up for the first time; each-way player.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

4th

5

1st Feb 2024

Good To Soft

3m 1f 30y

Class 3

15:45 Wincanton

Fidux

11st 6lb

J: Oscar Palmer

T: Alan King

Stuck on a losing run and not as good as he was; kept finding to finish second in a veterans' chase at Doncaster (3m, good to soft); may need to find something on that form to go one better here.

8/1

Form: U-4361 D

Last run: 35 days

W: 11st 7lb

10 yo Gelding

OR: 123

Form & Verdict

Shot up the weights for winning easily at Taunton (2m7f, good) last February; lost his form in the spring/autumn but back near his best when winning a four-runner race at Exeter (2m3f, good to soft; back up 4lb today) five weeks ago; player if he remains at that level for in-form stable.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

3rd

4

6th Feb 2024

Good

2m 7f 3y

Class 3

16:20 Taunton

Stormy Flight

11st 12lb

J: Rex Dingle

T: Jeremy Scott

Cruised clear to win by 7l over C&D (good) just under a year ago and looked back in prime form when scoring at Exeter (2m3f, soft) in December; doesn't have much margin for error off current mark but still features prominently in calculations.

7/2

1st

4

13th Dec 2023

Soft

2m 3f 48y

Class 3

13:50 Exeter

Stormy Flight

10st 13lb

J: Rex Dingle

T: Jeremy Scott

Shot up the weights for winning easily at Taunton in February (2m7f, good) but he nearly defied the rise next time at Wincanton; no closer than 16l in his last three runs but he's back on a dangerous mark and handles soft ground.

11/2

Form: 6-7526 C

Last run: 33 days

W: 11st 4lb

7 yo Gelding

OR: 120

Form & Verdict

Chasing on last three starts, easily best of those when second at Hereford (3m1f, good) in November, a race in which only three finished; tailed off latest and had wind surgery soon afterwards; cheekpieces are enlisted; won off 1lb higher as a hurdler at this track (3m) in November 2022.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

1st

1

23rd Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 6f 93y

Class 4

14:35 Newbury

Abuffalosoldier

12st 0lb

J: James Bowen

T: Warren Greatrex

Clear best effort over fences when second at Hereford (3m1f, good) in November; had wind surgery since last run; now wears first-time headgear; sole start at Newbury resulted in 3m hurdle win off 1lb higher; interesting back here.

8/1

6th

6

15th Dec 2023

Good To Soft

2m 7f 214y

Class 3

14:15 Doncaster

Abuffalosoldier

11st 1lb

J: James Bowen

T: Warren Greatrex

On his winning hurdle mark and left his debut over fences behind to finish second at Hereford (3m1f, good), albeit in a race where only three finished; this is deeper and good ground might be ideal.

9/1

Form: 312/52 D

Last run: 28 days

W: 11st 3lb

7 yo Gelding

OR: 119

Form & Verdict

Easily best efforts on soft; won 3m maiden hurdle at Ludlow in February 2022; only three runs since (off 611 days before this season) and they were all handicaps, runner-up twice including in a five-runner race over C&D four weeks ago on his second chase start; that puts him in the picture.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

2nd

5

2nd Mar 2024

Soft

2m 7f 86y

Class 3

16:05 Newbury

Pulling Stumps

10st 10lb

J: Micheal Nolan

T: Philip Hobbs & Johnson White

Bumper and 3m maiden hurdle winner; chasing this term, second of five over C&D (soft) in December; made most and still upsides the winner, miles clear of the third, when getting the second last all wrong at Chepstow (near 3m, heavy) on latest outing; back up 1lb since and that leaves him on a tempting mark, with improvement still possible.

3/1

0

1

24th Jan 2024

Soft

2m 7f 131y

Class 4

14:00 Chepstow

Pulling Stumps

11st 13lb

J: Micheal Nolan

T: Philip Hobbs & Johnson White

led, went clear with winner before 3 out, joined when fell 2 out

100/30

Form: 833-11

Last run: 49 days

W: 11st 2lb

7 yo Gelding

OR: 118

Form & Verdict

3-7 over fences, the wins including under Harry Kimber at Fontwell (3m2f) and Hereford (3m1f) in his two starts this season; progressing nicely (raised another 8lb today); all his form of any consequence has been on good ground.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

1st

2

29th Nov 2023

Good

3m 1f 44y

Class 4

15:10 Hereford

Hipop Des Ongrais

12st 0lb

J: Harry Kimber

T: Robert Walford

Successful in similar event at Fontwell (3m2f, good; off 7lb lower) on seasonal debut, adding to his wins at about 2m4f; still unexposed at this sort of distance and looks one for the shortlist.

7/2

1st

5

6th Oct 2023

Good

3m 1f 210y

Class 4

13:45 Fontwell

Hipop Des Ongrais

11st 2lb

J: Harry Kimber

T: Robert Walford

prominent, jumped slightly right and barged rival 5th

3/1

Abandoned

Form: /2152/ D

Last run: 636 days

W: 11st 1lb

11 yo Gelding

OR: 117

Form & Verdict

In peak form over hurdles (3m1f) when last seen but that was in April 2022; chase form (five attempts) is not so good but still gives him a fair shout off this career-low mark if he returns on song for stable that's among the winners; due to run Plumpton 2.25 yesterday.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

2nd

8

15th Feb 2024

Soft

3m 0f 37y

Class 3

16:15 Sandown

Trincomalee

10st 12lb

J: Tom Cannon

T: Lucy Wadham

Used to act on soft and heavy; thrown in on hurdles form but 0-6 over fences and last month's Newbury run (beaten 32l after 642 days off) needs to have done him an awful lot of good.

12/1

6th

3

23rd Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 6f 93y

Class 4

14:35 Newbury

Trincomalee

11st 11lb

J: Tom Cannon

T: Lucy Wadham

0-5 over fences; well treated on hurdles form but has to overcome a 21-month absence and it remains to be seen whether he retains ability now aged 11; best watched unless the betting speaks positively.

14/1

Form: 41-P51 D

Last run: 54 days

W: 10st 13lb

6 yo Gelding

OR: 115

Form & Verdict

Upped to 3m when winning his handicap hurdle debut at Haydock in April and jumped to the front three out when scoring in clearcut style at Catterick (3m1f, again good to soft) in November on his second chase start; withdrawn twice since because of soft ground; tongue tied this season; up 5lb but he's a lightly raced sort who should still have potential.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

2nd

12

2nd Mar 2024

Good To Soft

3m 2f 1y

Class 2

15:40 Doncaster

Some Scope

10st 4lb

J: Gavin Sheehan

T: Richard Hobson

Improving 6yo who came from a long way off the pace before drawing clear to win comfortably by over 7l here (3m, good) in January and is now 2-3 over fences; 10lb higher in a much stronger race today and may not be ideally suited by the slower ground, but still needs to be taken very seriously.

3/1

6

28th Jan 2024

Good

2m 7f 214y

Class 4

13:25 Doncaster

Some Scope

11st 9lb

J: Gavin Sheehan

T: Richard Hobson

Won with something to spare at Catterick (3m1f, good to soft; second chase attempt) two months ago and looks open to further improvement in this sphere; has low mileage; respected up 5lb.

2/1

Form: 1123-7 D

Last run: 55 days

W: 10st 3lb

11 yo Gelding

OR: 105

Form & Verdict

Three wins last term, including at Ffos Las (3m, good) and Taunton (2m7f, heavy) last March; heavy defeats on final start last season and the first this time round but worth a market check.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

0

9

22nd Jan 2024

Frozen

3m 1f 100y

Class 4

15:40 Warwick

Haldon Hill

11st 9lb

J: Alan Johns

T: Victor Dartnall

Back-to-back wins at Ffos Las (3m, good) and Taunton (2m7f, heavy) last March and only 3lb higher than for the latest of those; however, he's an 11yo now and his reappearance was underwhelming even if that was over 2m4f.

9/1

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Verdict

This looks competitive. Hipop Des Ongrais may need good ground, while Pulling Stumps may need soft. They are two of the leading contenders but preference is for SOME SCOPE, the youngster of the party who brings clear potential after his Catterick win. Last-time-out winners Stellar Magic and Stormy Flight may fight it out for second, in that order.[Richard Austen]