Tag Archive for: Castle Robin

Cooper’s Cross chasing Grimthorpe gold

Stuart Coltherd’s Cooper’s Cross will bid for back-to-back Doncaster successes when he lines up for the Virgin Bet Grimthorpe Handicap Chase on Saturday.

The eight-year-old landed the Sky Bet Chase at Town Moor at the end of January, defeating Christian Williams’ Cap Du Nord by a length at 16-1.

Cap Du Nord went on to land the Swinley Chase at Ascot on his next start, meanwhile Cooper’s Cross was given an increased rating of 133 for his victory – a rise of 5lb.

Even with that rise the gelding is still well-handicapped and will carry only 10st 4lb when he takes on seven rivals.

“I couldn’t be happier with him, really,” the trainer said.

Cooper’s Cross winning the Sky Bet Chase
Cooper’s Cross winning the Sky Bet Chase (Richard Sellers/PA)

“He seems in really good heart and we’re all looking forward to Saturday.”

The Grimthorpe is run over three miles and two furlongs, an extension on the three-mile trip Cooper’s Cross prevailed over last time.

Coltherd felt his horse was staying on in the Sky Bet, however, and is not expecting the added distance to cause any problems on ground that is largely unchanged since his last run.

“I don’t think two extra furlongs will bother him, he was staying on well the last day, so I think he should handle it fine,” he said.

“The ground can’t be that much different from the last day, so it should be OK. It’s going to be the same ground.

“He’s under 10st 4lb and we couldn’t be happier with that, we’re looking forward to it – hopefully it’ll be a big run.”

Charlie Longsdon saddles Castle Robin, winner of the Virgin Bet Masters Handicap Chase at Sandown on his latest start in early February.

The chestnut produced a good round of jumping to land the race and was raised 4lb as a result, meaning he carries 10t 9lb this time.

“This has been the plan since he won at Sandown, he seemed to come out of the race really well so we’re hoping he’ll run a really good race,” Longsdon said.

“I was very pleased at Sandown, I couldn’t have been happier. Everything went according to plan that day and, touching wood, he’s had a nice preparation and will go there with a very nice chance.

Castle Robin winning at Sandown
Castle Robin winning at Sandown (Steven Paston/PA)

“He’s on a really nice weight and we’re looking forward to it.”

Kim Bailey’s Does He Know carries top-weight of 12st, with the gelding a Grade Two winner over both hurdles and fences.

The eight-year-old was a Cheltenham Grade Three winner in November, after which he headed to Newbury in February and placed third in the Grade Two Denman Chase when beaten eight and half lengths by Zanza.

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Undersupervision, the reigning Grimthorpe champion, returns to defend his title, while Brian Ellison’s Windsor Avenue also has Doncaster form as he won the 2022 Sky Bet Chase and was fourth in the same event when last seen.

Sporting John will represent Philip Hobbs having last been seen finishing 11th of 14 in the Swinley Chase in mid-February, with Tom Lacey’s Neville’s Cross and Seamus Mullins’ Moroder completing the field of eight.

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