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Doncaster Preview: Steel Summit can complete five-timer

Steel Summit is in the form of his life at present and is impossible to oppose in the 3m handicap hurdle at Doncaster today (2.50).

The David Dennis trained gelding has rattled-up a four-timer since Boxing Day, winning once over fences and three times over hurdles.

On each occasion the six-year-old has scored with consummate ease, and his win eight days ago when slamming Running Wolf by 18 lengths at Market Rasen was arguably the most impressive.

The runner-up has since come out and won to give the form a solid look, and although Steel Summit has to shoulder a 10lb penalty for that success he still looks miles ahead of the assessor.
Indeed, he is due to go up to a mark of 124 in future races so off a rating of 110 is officially a stone well-in at the weights.

That is going to make Steel Summit extremely difficult to beat if this race doesn’t come too quickly.

The 2m novices’ hurdle earlier on the card (1.05) looks a match on paper between Buckwheat and Days Of Heaven, and the latter is taken to come out on top.

The Nicky Henderson trained has proved troublesome at the start but unquestionably has bags of ability.

The five-year-old opened his account over hurdles at the third time of asking when readily winning by eight lengths at Ludlow last month, having previously shaped well when third in a strong looking contest at Newbury.

Days Of Heaven was beaten 9 1/2 lengths in the latter by a well-regarded stable companion in the shape of Different Gravey, and the runner-up Ballagh is also very well thought of and has gone on to finish an excellent second in a Grade 2 contest at Warwick.

That is strong form in the context of this contest and Days Of Heaven looks the type who is progressing with every run and should have plenty more to offer.

Off an official rating of 132 the son of Saint Des Saints set a decent standard at this level, and another plus is that his handler does really well with his runners at the track.

Henderson has a strike rate of just under 46% at the venue in the past 12 months, and although his chasers have been struggling this season that has not been the case with his hurdlers.

Selections:
12.35: Shantou Magic
1.05: Days Of Heaven (NB)
1.40: First Of Never
2.15: Red Devil Lads
2.50: Steel Summit (NAP)
3.20: Rear Admiral
3.50: Clondaw Banker