Pepe set for Doncaster trip

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Pepe Simo is likely to run at Doncaster this weekend, but it has still to be decided in which race he will line up.

Paul Nicholls’ seven-year-old holds entries in the Grade Two Lightning Novices’ Chase and the Handicap Chase.

“He’s in great form, he’s come out of Kempton very well and it’s really a question of which race he runs in,” said Harry Herbert, racing manager to owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing.

A winner over fences at Sandown in November, Pepe Simo then won a Kempton jumpers’ bumper, beating Grade One-winning stablemate Noland.

He was last seen when narrowly denied by Nicky Henderson’s mare Nadiya De La Vega at the same track when trying to concede 11lb, and the pair may meet again in the Lightning.

Herbert went on: “He’s being aimed at the Grand Annual, so it would be a long time without a run if he went straight there. We don’t want to be too clever and wait too long.

“He’s very exuberant in his jumping and the more experience we can get into him in his novice year the better.

“We were very excited with his last run, he would perhaps have finished even closer but for his mistake at the last.

“He’s a very exciting horse and is giving his owners lots of fun.”