Grimthorpe Chase Preview: King to find more Success with Sego

Ben Fearnley fancies an Alan King-trained horse for Saturday
Ben Fearnley fancies an Alan King-trained horse for Saturday

Timeform's Ben Fearnley previews Doncaster's Grimthorpe Chase and has recommended a bet.

"He was better than ever over three miles at Doncaster in December prior to his unlucky Warwick exit, and he is certainly worth another chance to prove that he is still well handicapped from a BHA mark of 146."

Though the Grimthorpe Chase is perhaps not as prestigious a prize as once was the case, it is still used as a stepping stone for many Grand National hopefuls, and the prize money on offer means that it is usually a competitive affair, which looks to be the case once again this year.

This may well be the chosen venue for The Druids Nephew - who was going as well as anything else when slithering out of contention five fences from home in last year's National - to have his Aintree prep, but he comes here with a little bit to prove after disappointing on his first start over fences this season at Cheltenham in December, where he went without his usual zest. We may see an improved performance on what could be better ground on Saturday, but he is hard to recommend at his current price on the back of his last run.

The Last Samuri is around a 25/1-shot for the Grand National, and is currently favourite for the Grimthorpe on the back of his win in a handicap at Kempton on his second start for Kim Bailey. He was off the bridle for some way out that day, and was only kept in touch by a solid round of jumping, before his stamina kicked in late on and he was able to pick up the strong-travelling leader near the finish. The combination of this galloping track and the extra two furlongs looks set to suit here, and he is a the right favourite, though considering the National (which he will get in from his current mark) is seemingly his main target rather than this race, we can just about take him on at the prices.

Of the others with National entries (which include Bear's Affair, Ikorodu Road, Aachen and Just A Par), Paul Nicholls' Wonderful Charm perhaps makes most appeal, and he looks set to take his chance, with Sam Twiston-Davies provisionally booked for the ride. Though Wonderful Charm doesn't shape as if he is obviously well handicapped, he has been dropped 1 lb since finishing a distant second at Cheltenham in December, and will have place claims in what will be just his fourth start in a handicap.

Sego Success doesn't have the National on his agenda, and this race may well have been his target since he fell at the second when sent off favourite for Warwick's Classic Chase in January. Sego Success has always been fancied to thrive over extreme distances (was sent off second-favourite for last season's National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival), and though he took a couple of starts to get going this season, he was better than ever over three miles at Doncaster in December prior to his unlucky Warwick exit, and he is certainly worth another chance to prove that he is still well handicapped from a BHA mark of 146. Alan King has been prolific in these valuable handicaps this season, and Sego Success is worth backing to give him further Saturday success.

Charlie Longsdon's Coologue is well worth a mention after his second to Ziga Boy in the Sky Bet Chase here in January on just his fourth start over fences. He saw out three miles well enough that day, but may not appreciate the extra two furlongs on Saturday (not short of speed), and he also holds plenty of other entries, including in a novice on this card. All things considered, he looks short enough, as does his stablemate Drop Out Joe, who has to shoulder an 8 lb rise for his unusual Badger Ales Trophy win, where he was seemingly out of the race (outpaced) before picking up late on.

Recommendation:
Back Sego Success to win the Grimthorpe Chase at 6/1

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