Six meetings across Britain and Ireland on Saturday afternoon will ensure a typically hectic day of racing. The first weekend in March can only mean Cheltenham is around the corner and hopefully the weekend selections can help boost the coffers!
A Veterans’ Handicap Chase at Newbury over 3m2f with some very familiar names on the card and perhaps Milansbar deserves more respect than his place in the market suggests.
He was a winner at Warwick in a decent graded handicap in January last year before carrying Bryony Frost to an honourable fifth in the Grand National at Aintree. Things haven’t really gone to plan in two runs this term, including the defence of his Grade 3 prize at Warwick just after New Year.
He’s been given a short break since, while the handicapper has dropped him 3lb. He’s coming back at a time when trainer Neil King is in form, with the yard boasting four winners from 19 runners recently.
Conditions and trip are ideal and Milansbar looks overpriced with Harry Skelton an excellent jockey booking as he takes over in the plate for the first time in what is perhaps a less taxing race than he’s been contesting.
Rocky’s Treasure put up a really fine effort over the C&D at Doncaster when winning a Grade 2 novice chase by 19-lengths in December. He was somewhat disappointing last month at Warwick when favourite to win a Listed race, though his jumping wasn’t all that fluent and that likely contributed as he finished third behind Ok Corral.
His other chasing defeat came behind Santini, another of Nicky Henderson’s, and he is now 4-6 in this discipline. He makes his first foray in a handicap now and, back on Town Moor where he thrived last time, can be expected to run a big race for a stable with a 26 per cent strike rate from their runners over the previous fortnight.
Archie Watson’s charge was a C&D scorer at Lingfield over the winter and is now back on the same mark as he looks to hit the winning trail once more. The Society Rock four-year-old has a 50% strike rate on the all-weather (8-16) and was a creditable two-length runner-up here last time out in a Listed contest.
He was just behind Royal Birth in that race but, with that rival on a 16-race losing sequence now, Corinthia Knight can turn the form around, despite the terms being less advantageous this afternoon.