Grade Two Lightning Novices Chase Guide 2022

Doncaster - January 29 2022
Doncaster 13:35
Harry Skelton

Third Time Lucki

J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
Age: 7
Weight: 11-5
OR: 152
Days: 56

Although only three runners look set to go to post in this Grade 2 affair, we could have a nice race on our hands. The Dan Skelton charge is giving the other two runners 5lbs in this, which isn’t much but in this sort of small runner field it could play vital.

Third Time Lucki looked one of the leading novice chasers at the start of the season, winning twice in his first two starts at Cheltenham over fences, winning by a combined 13 lengths with some good horses in behind, after some enthusiastic jumps which looked his main asset, but he always runs very keen early on and that could prove an issue against another horse who will do just that as well.

His run last time out in the Grade 1 Close Brothers Henry VIII Novices Chase at Sandown looked disappointing at the time, but the two horses in front of him that day do look talented in their own right, Edwardstone has won another Graded contest since over Christmas and looks the leading charge for the Arkle at the Cheltenham festival come March, and War Lord has also won at the Winter Millions at Lingfield over the weekend just gone in fine style.

Third Time Lucki does jump very well, but can run very keenly, however is the only horse in the contest to win a Graded contest over fences, so that certainly makes him the class act in this race for a in form yard.

Super Jumper, who is a Grade 2 winner over fences, 2 wins in 3 races over the larger obstacles, looks the class act in this but does run very green, the one to beat.

Doncaster - January 29 2022
Doncaster 13:35
Richie McLernon

Do Your Job

J: Richie McLernon
T: Michael Scudamore
Age: 8
Weight: 11-0
OR: 142
Days: 33

The Michael Scudamore mount is probably happy to not meet Edwardstone again in this, a horse that he has met twice already this season, once beating him when he was a faller at Warwick and a second time in the Wayward Lad Novices Chase at Kempton over the Christmas period, where Edwardstone won the race by 10 widening lengths.

He is a game horse with some decent form in behind, already a winner over fences and an unlucky faller at Sandown last December, but like the other two runners in the race can be very keen when running but has also won when held up at the back, so hard to gauge what run style you might get on the day.

He arguably has the second-best form on paper, beating Edwardstone at Warwick and finishing second in a Grade 2 last time out, but he might struggle against these two exuberant runners who will go hell for leather at the front of the field who both look better jumpers than him.

He also looks to favour the much softer conditions, whereas the other two look to run well on better conditions (Good ground is expected at Doncaster on Saturday) Winner over fences this season, but was 10 lengths behind Edwardstone last time out, had a little break now so will be fresh for this, but the expected quick pace might catch him out in this.

Doncaster - January 29 2022
Doncaster 13:35
Harry Bannister

For Pleasure

J: Harry Bannister
T: Alex Hales
Age: 7
Weight: 11-0
OR: 137
Days: 47

The flag bearer for the Alex Hales yard who was a Grade 2 winner over hurdles at Cheltenham last season, like the other two runners, has had three runs over the larger obstacles, winning once.

He is an exuberant front runner who likes to make his races a real test from the front, bursting away from the start to run into a wide margin lead, which usually does work in these smaller run fields.

His best career performance to date was his win last time out in a Class 3 at Plumpton last month, racing very freely as usual, jumping well and making all beating a horse who looks talented in his own right, but For Pleasure won by an eased down 37 lengths and it could have been further.

The key to this horse is the race falling into his lap like his last race, if he gets an easy lead, he will win this going away, but that looks set to be a real task as the other two runners could try and match him.

He does look a talented horse and his performance last time out made him look like a potential black type of horse in the making.

Exuberant front runner who makes his races a real test, stable form is a slight concern but there is no doubt he will make it a war of attrition, a previous graded winner over hurdles who looks talented, but needs it all to fall in place.


Jake Russell | @JakeRuss1000