February 26 – Naas – Corbett’s Cross – 70

A winner over three miles previously, connections were really chancing their arm dropping the son of Gamut down in trip, but as it turned out, their decision proved to be right on the money. Easily able to slot in behind the pace set by Found A Fifty, Emmet Mullins’ gelding stayed on extremely willingly in the closing stages and although he only managed to win by a head, it was still no mean performance up against a genuine two-miler. Still a possible contender for the Albert Bartlett, whether he ends up going down that route remains to be seen, but either way, he should provide his new owner JP McManus with plenty of fun for the remainder of his career.

February 27 – Ayr – One Fine Man – 66

Just four runners went to post for this novices’ handicap, but it turned out to be quite a strongly run affair, which ultimately suited the winner down to a tee. Noted travelling well throughout, the son of Jeremy kept on really strongly once on the run-in and it was noticeable that both he and Richmond Lake pulled well clear of the other pair. A big, scopey unit with the strong possibility of more to come, James Moffatt appears to have another fine prospect on his hands.

February 28 – Southwell – Regal Empire – 97

A decent three-year-old staying handicap for this time of year and it was won in decisive fashion by a horse who really improved for the step up in trip. Setting out to make all the running, James Tate’s gelding soon had most of his rivals at full stretch and once straightening up for home, he really opened up in impressive fashion. Time-wise, a 97 at this level is pretty useful and if he can translate this sort of form to the Turf in the coming months, he could be one for a nice pot somewhere along the line.

March 4 – Kelso – Nemean Lion – 69

Having finished a creditable third in the Tolworth Hurdle behind Tahmuras previously, Kerry Lee’s gelding arguably set the standard for this Grade 2 affair and he duly confirmed that view with a display of authority. Latching on top the leaders going well turning for home, the son of Golden Horn stayed on best of all on the long climb uphill to the line and having confirmed the form with Colonel Harry in doing so, there’s no reason to doubt the result. Reportedly to need soft ground to be at his best, similar conditions will determine whether he goes to Aintree or not.

March 4 – Kelso – Benson – 68

A fiercely competitive renewal of this valuable handicap and it went the way of a horse seemingly revitalised for a switch in stables. A bit of a character to say the least for previous connections, a good deal of credit deserves to be placed at the hands of Sandy Thomson who has turned the eight-year-old inside out and following an improved performance at Musselburgh, he took his game to another level in beating a stellar field. Using the runner-up, Colonel Mustard as a guide, he thoroughly deserves to take up one of his two engagements at the Cheltenham Festival and of the pair, he would have to be of some interest in the Coral Cup.

March 4 – Doncaster – Moroder – 71

Not the strongest of races for the money on offer. but it produced a useful time figures and decent finish all the same. The winner had always threatened to land a decent pot and under a strong ride, he finally delivered the goods on the big stage. Unlikely to go for the Midland Grand National, he’s worth than a second look for either the bet365 Gold Cup or Scottish National.