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Wincanton preview: Badger Ales Trophy (14.05)

David Metcalf | November 6, 2015

Doing Fine shaped with bags of promise on seasonal reappearance and looks the answer to the feature race at Wincanton, the Badgers Ales Trophy (14.05).

The Rebecca Curtis trained gelding scored on debut over fences at Ffos Las last season when showing a good attitude to beat Carole’s Destrier by a neck off a mark of 126.

Doing Fine stayed on strongly having been two lengths down jumping the last to get up in the shadow of the post, and the runner-up is a useful sort now rated 149.

The pair pulled 28 lengths clear of the third home Big Casino who is now rated 130, and that gives the form a solid looks and suggests Doing Fine’s current mark of 132 is very exploitable.

Punters should be Doing Fine

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Doing Fine went to finish an excellent second to Cogry at Warwick, and was also far from disgraced when eighth of 17 to Cause Of Causes in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival off his current mark.

The seven-year-old then failed to sparkle on his final start of the campaign when well-beaten at the Punchestown Festival, but that may well have been one run too many and there was plenty to like about Doing Fine’s comeback run at Chepstow last month.

Doing Fine looked in need of the run beforehand, but after losing his place following a mistake at the fourth kept on really well in the closing stages to finish a 4 3/4 length third of 12 to Drop Out Joe.

The son of Presenting now meets the winner on 8lb better terms, and that may well be enough to reverse the placings given how the race panned out.

Watch out for The Ould Lad

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There are plenty of potential dangers, and one of the more interesting is The Ould Lad on his first start for champion trainer Paul Nicholls.

The gelding was in good heart in the early part of last season when in the care of Tom George, winning twice and posting solid efforts to make the frame off marks of 127 and 130.

It’s fair to say that The Ould Lad was then very disappointing in his final two starts, but that has resulted in the handicapping dropping the seven-year-old to a mark of 125.

That looks exploitable, especially judged on The Ould Lad’s second behind Benbane Head in a class 1 contest at Cheltenham last December off 2lb higher.

It could also be that The Ould Lad is at his best in the early part of the season, and if the move to Nicholls has freshened him up the son of Heron Island looks weighted to run a huge race.

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Coral’s top tip: Doing Fine shaped well last time out and looks decent value to land the spoils for Welsh handler Rebecca Curtis. The Ould Lad is feared on his first start for Paul Nicholls.