Nasone can strike gold


Nasone can strike gold for Josh Gifford in the Tote Bookmakers Novices' Handicap Chase at Wincanton this afternoon. Having had his stable under a cloud for most of the season, Findon handler Gifford should be a trainer worth following this term, plenty of his horses looking well handicapped now after spending some time in the doldrums.

Having run in some leading novice hurdle company last year, the six-year-old belied a starting price of 100 to 1 when running well for a very long way in the Royal Sun Alliance Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, but remains a maiden over timber, coming closest to losing that tag when a neck second to Hurricane Lamp at Sandown.

Gifford has always held Nasone in high regard and he looks every inch the type to make an impact over fences this term.

Danger Baby can continue his winning run in the Hamilton Litestat Handicap Chase on the same card.

His astute handler Peter Bowen has found the key to the gelding since picking him up at the sales in August and he will be bidding for his fifth win in six starts today.

There was no sign of an imminent loss of form as Danger Baby galloped to a gutsy victory at Sandown last time and he must go very close again here.

Baronet's bottomless reserves of stamina should win him the day at Warwick. He has always seemed an out-and-out stayer for whom the Shipston Handicap Chase looks tailor-made, having scored in good three-mile novice company at Kempton and Aintree.

Three miles on quick ground for his reappearance at Wincanton was nothing like a sufficient test for the seven-year-old, who ran a blinder in the circumstances to take third behind Lively Knight.

But trainer David Nicholson has found the ideal opportunity for Baronet to resume winning ways today when the emphasis will be firmly on staying power.

Well supported in the markets before his third to Punkah in a decent novice hurdle at Ascot at the start of the month, Ginger Fox showed his best jumps form so far and the four-year-old can continue his improvement with success in the Ashorne Novices' Hurdle.

A 75,000 guineas purchase from Henry Cecil's yard after winning once from five efforts on the Flat, he was expected to prove well above-average over hurdles but has disappointed slightly.