Glens Melody expected to confirm the form with Mischievous Milly
The Grade 2 Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at 2.40 sees the return of Alan King’s Balder Succes. The six-year-old won on his chasing debut in October but the low angle of the sun was blamed for his fall at Cheltenham when holding a clear lead.
He landed the odds comfortably here in November and was upped in class for the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown. He was never in contention that day and King was forced to shut down his yard with a mystery virus shortly afterwards.
Valdez signalled a return to form for the King stable at Doncaster and a double in midweek suggests that all is well at Barbury Castle. Balder Succes has won on heavy ground although that was only a low grade affair at Plumpton over hurdles.
Paul Nicholls has a busy day at Newbury but Valco De Touzaine cannot be overlooked in this race. The grey is a typical son of Dom Alco and has only been out of the frame once in 13 career starts.
He was outpaced in the closing stages when beaten at Haydock last time and may be the one to force the pace here. The Venetia Williams stable continues in fine form and Brick Red was a cosy winner at Wincanton last weekend.
That followed a decent effort at Newbury and the gelding handles this ground well. Lord Of House battled on well to win at Ludlow last month and is another that won’t mind the ground but Balder Succes is just preferred in a trappy little contest.
Glens Melody renews rivalry with Mischievous Milly in Listed Mares’ Hurdle at 2.05. Although only three-quarters of a length separated the pair here last time, Glens Melody always appeared to be travelling better.
They meet on identical terms while Hidden Identity, third last time, is 3lbs worse off with the front two. L’Unique won a Grade 1 race at Aintree on good ground last spring but has shown little in two outings so far this season.