Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to the Sky Bet Handicap Chase at Doncaster on Saturday and pick out their 1-2-3...
"...boasts really strong form and is the one to beat..."
Timeform on Cap du Nord
1. Mister Malarky (Colin Tizzard/ Jonjo O'Neill jnr)
Not easy to predict, but smart on his day and was at least as good as ever when the winning Silver Cup Handicap Chase at Ascot last month by a length and three quarters from The Conditional, ridden more prominently than usual. More needed off his current mark.
2. Aye Right (Harriet Graham/ Callum Bewley)
Returned in fine heart in the autumn, notably finishing third to Cyrname in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby before a ten-length second to Cloth Cap in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury. Had a spin in a jumpers' bumper at Newcastle last week and can go well again.
3. Give Me A Copper (Paul Nicholls/ Harry Cobden)
Lightly raced over fences for his age and won the Badger Beers Silver Trophy at Wincanton on his reappearance last season. Had a wind op before finishing a good staying-on second to the idling Rocky's Treasure over this course and distance on his return in December, flattered to be beaten only half a length. Others are better handicapped.
4. Canelo (Alan King/ Tom Cannon)
Jumping has been more assured this season and he has progressed well since cheekpieces were applied, winning a novice handicap at Aintree in November and the Rowland Meyrick Handicap at Wetherby last time, beating Snow Leopardess by three quarters of a length. One for the shortlist.
5. Yorkhill (Sandy Thomson/ Ryan Mania)
High-class chaser in his youth before losing his way for Willie Mullins. However, fitted with a tongue tie, he caused a 66/1 surprise in the Rehearsal Handicap Chase at Newcastle last time, making most to beat Whatmore by a length and three quarters. Still well handicapped on old form if holding it together.
6. Takingrisks (Nicky Richards/ Sean Quinlan)
2019 Scottish National winner who also landed last season's Rehearsal Chase at a big price. Back to form but had insufficient test when a plugging-on fourth to Yorkhill in the latest renewal of Rehearsal Chase last time. More emphasis on stamina will suit but vulnerable to younger rivals.
7. Rocky's Treasure (Kim Bailey/ David Bass)
Course-and-distance winner when a smart novice two years ago and bounced back to form in a handicap on his return to Doncaster in December, making virtually all to beat Give Me A Copper half a length after idling on the flat. More to do at the weights this time.
8. One For The Team (Nick Williams/ Tom Scudamore)
Useful over hurdles and better still over fences this term. Stayed on to be beaten a length and a quarter behind Next Destination in a Grade 2 novice at Newbury and showed similar form when last of five finishers in the Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton. Unexposed but shapes as though needing further than 3m.
9. Boldmere (Caroline Bailey/ Sean Bowen)
Dual winner in handicaps last season as a novice, including when beating Bob Mahler ten lengths over course and distance. Yet to show the same form this term, and only fourth to Rocky's Treasure when favourite here last month, though would have been closer had he not hit the second-last.
10. The Butcher Said (Olly Murphy/ Adrian Heskin)
Useful hurdler and has shown similar form over fences this season, winning novices at Southwell and Bangor in August/September. Left with too much to do when a never-nearer sixth to Yorkhill in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle last time and is worth another chance in handicap company.
11. Cap du Nord (Christian Williams/ Jack Tudor (3))
Better than ever this season and readily beat Canelo at Newbury in November. Long way clear of the rest when three and a quarter lengths second to Royale Pagaille at Kempton last time, getting only 7 lb from a rapidly-improving and now high-class rival. Boasts really strong form and is the one to beat.
12. Guitar Pete (Nicky Richards/ Ryan Day)
Won on his reappearance at Wetherby last season but made little impact afterwards, ending the season over hurdles. Showed he retains ability when fourth in same race at Wetherby this season, and was getting into contention when falling four out at Kempton last time. Others are more progressive.
13. Musical Slave (Philip Hobbs/ Richard Johnson)
Showed useful form in novice handicaps last term, winning at Exeter before finishing placed at Haydock and Uttoxeter, all on heavy ground. Shaped as if still on a good mark despite several mistakes when fifth to Clondaw Castle on his reappearance at Newbury. Remains open to improvement, particularly under softer conditions back up in trip.
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Timeform's analyst verdict:
It's tough to ignore the claims of Cap du Nord given the way his second to possible Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Royale Pagaille at Kempton over Christmas has worked out. Rowland Meyrick winner Canelo chased home the selection at Newbury in November and could be the one to give him most to think about again. Ladbrokes Trophy second Aye Right and Philip Hobbs's Musical Slave are also shortlisted.
1. Cap du Nord
3. Aye Right