The Messenger has two bets for Saturday's racing and they come from Doncaster and Wincanton.
Doncaster 3.15: Towerlands Park
Towerlands Park has clearly been difficult to train. He ran only once in 2016, winning with plenty to spare at Kempton over 11f. He then only made his seasonal reappearance at Newbury two weeks ago. Cruising into contention 2f out, he did not quite go through with his effort there, but was not knocked about, suggesting he was being minded with today’s race in their thoughts. He looks very well handicapped off 92, so if that recent run has not taken its toll he must go close, given he is proven on a soft surface.
Wincanton 3.35: Vic de Touzaine
Consistent now in handicap chases for a couple of years, Vic de Touzaine can land by far his biggest prize in the Badger Beer Chase.
A soft ground lover, he proved he had the stamina for 3m when winning on his reappearance at Carlisle last month. That was very much against the trend for trainer Venetia Williams who was 1-21 in October with her horses looking badly in need of their first runs of the campaign. That suggests there should be more in the locker from this 8yo who did well to win first time out. The second home that day Boric has since excelled himself in the Durham National.
Last season was a short campaign for the gelding, but he managed second places here and then at Newbury in the valuable Greatwood Gold Cup. Both races were over 2m4f and he was staying on strongly at the finish. The overnight rain will have aided his chances and there should be more to come from him at this extended distance.
1pt win – Towerlands Park – 3.15 Doncaster at 8/1 with William Hill and Paddy Power
1pt each-way – Vic de Touzaine – 3.35 Wincanton at 9/1 with SportingBet