Super Friday at Newbury

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It was a shame that last weekend lost a big day of racing at Newbury to the weather, with Ruby Walsh set to take centre stage on Champion Hurdle contender Zarkandar. However the BHA has rescheduled what would have been Newbury’s ‘Super Saturday’, to a Friday-run card tomorrow instead.

The principal races, the Betfair Handicap Hurdle and Denman Chase, remain in the new meeting’s card along with the previously rescheduled Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase.

Gold Cup winner Long Run, Sprinter Sacre and Zarkandar are due to have final runs before next month’s Cheltenham Festival making it all the more important that the weather behaves itself this time.

Another Champion Hurdle prospect, former race winner Binocular, has been slated to go straight to Cheltenham having missed out on a prep run due to the recent abandonment at Sandown. He’s unlikely to pick up another run elsewhere although Kelso in the week had been mooted. It perhaps isn’t ideal preparation for the eight-year-old ahead of the festival but connections are not reportedly perturbed with one of AP McCoy’s favourite mounts currently a 10-1 chance for the big race in March.

Here at Doncaster we’re keeping fingers and toes crossed that the cold snap does not return.

Our next meeting is on Wednesday February, 22 and will be good preparation for our next big feature event, the two day Grimthorpe Chase Meeting on Friday and Saturday March 2 and 3. Last year Always Right was a popular winner of the valuable Grimthorpe Chase for John Wade.

The County Durham trainer is a familiar face on the northern circuit but hadn’t been that accustomed to landing big Saturday features until he struck gold at Town Moor.

For more information on Doncaster Racecourse or to buy tickets to a race meeting or event, go to www.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk or call our box office on 01302 511 918.