Albert Bartlett River Don Guide

1. Commodore Barry

Trainer - Kim Bailey

Jockey - David Bass

It’s been a busy period of racing for Commodore Barry, taking in six starts over timber since the start of May.

The six-year-old son of Presenting has been learning in its races, and he took his record to four wins from his six starts with a gutsy Handicap Hurdle success here in December.

Trainer Kim Bailey feels he deserves a crack at grade two level and he goes into the race in fine fettle.

However, his tendency to hang in races, which he did here last time, would be a cause for concern.

2. Bailarico

T: Warren Greatrex

J: Gavin Sheehan

This new-recruit to the jumping division got off the mark at the first attempt over hurdles, albeit it was in the infamous walk-over race at Leicester.

The six-year-old put a disappointing second start when defying a 6lb penalty in a novice contest at Kempton.

Realistically, his defeat can be forgotten about as this would have been his first jumping test, and his Kempton performance was one of real note.

That was his first try at three miles, and given Greatrex’s 30% strike rate in the past two weeks,

Bailarico heads into the race with a supreme chance.

3. Nadaitak

T: Ben Pauling

J: Nico De Boinville

Another new recruit to the jumping sphere from the flat, it’s been a topsy-turvy season for Nadaitak in his three hurdle starts to date.

An over performing fourth in a traditionally hot novice hurdle at Ascot was followed by an impressive four-length victory at this venue at the end of November.

However, his first over today’s course and distance didn’t go to plan, when sent off 2/9 favourite for a mediocre novices’ hurdle at the South Yorkshire venue.

Ben Pauling’s five-year-old raced tardily in behind, and his chance of winning was diminished when he clattered through the last to finish a one-paced second.

A lot more improvement is required to cut it at this grade, and he is the outsider of the field.

4. Truckers Lodge

T: Paul Nicholls

J: Harry Cobden

The only second-season novice in the field, the Paul Nicholls-trained gelding has been slowly progressing his way up the ladder, with some smart performances in novice contests in and around the west country area, before putting in a brave handicap performance at Chepstow on Welsh National day.

The winner was given a masterful ride that day so there was no disgrace in defeat, and with his ground versatility, Truckers Lodge looks to be the value out of the four runners.

When The Fun Stops. Stop.