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The Mandarin’s Saturday Selections for 23rd March 2024

The Mandarin’s Saturday Selections from Newbury Park, Bangor-On-Dee & Doncaster

Newbury Park

Get Best Odds Guaranteed At BetVictor Handicap Chase 2.40
Heltenham (nap)
Heltenham landed the Greatwood Cup over course and distance three weeks back, and can go in again for the Skelton brothers. This Masked Marvel gelding also won this race last year so clearly likes it here, and can defy the 6lb rise for his latest win. Well ahead of the re-opposing Sir Psycho and Gustavian in the Greatwood, that hit from the Handicapper might not be enough to reverse placings for that pair, so Paul Nicholls’s Solo rates the main danger. Heltenham to make it three from three here at Newbury Park

British EBF BetVictor ‘National Hunt’ Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) 3.15
Larchmont Lass
This Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle looks pretty wide open, but Larchmont Lass took the step up in trip in her stride last month so gets the vote. The hat-trick seeking Party Vibes is sure to get plenty of support for Henry Daly, but the selection gets an 8lb pull as this is a Limited Handicap, and that should be telling. Larchmont Lass to take the Black Type for Paul Nicholls


DragonBet Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap Hurdle 1.30
The move to Olly Murphy’s stable from Peter Croke seems to have brought out the best in Pickanumber, and he’s taken to notch up the hat-trick for his new yard. Both of his wins came at 2 miles on heavy ground, so he’s got to show he’s just as effective at this trip, but this looks a very workable mark, with Dylan Johnston’s 5lb claim adding to the appeal. Every chance

Beck’s Maiden Hurdle 3.40
Guard The Moon
Horses for courses as Guard The Moon looks to shed the Maiden tag over timber. He won two Bumpers here in December, and put in a decent shift for Nigel Twiston-Davies on his hurdling bow at Chepstow, before a return here saw him turned over when odds-on to win a Novices’ Hurdle. Guard The Moon didn’t have much over the re-opposing Grand Albert when they last met here on the flat, so not much margin for error, but James Turner’s 7lb claim should help. Guard The Moon to get off the mark at the third time of asking


William Hill Doncaster Mile Stakes (Listed) 1.20
Astral Beau
It may pay to side with Pam Sly’s Astral Beau for the Flat season’s curtain-raiser, to repeat her win in this race last year. However, the mud-loving Knight for Simon & Ed Crisford should relish these conditions, while Roger Varian’s Charyn was fourth in the Irish 2,000 Guineas last year so is a quality opponent. Possibly a deeper race than last year with these two in the field, but Astral Beau acts in this ground and gets 5lbs from the boys. Go close

William Hill EBF Brocklesby Stakes 1.50
Mystical Elegance
Dominic Ffrench-Davis took the runners-up spot in the Brocklesby last year, and should go close again with Mystical Elegance. Persian Force also won this for Amo Racing back in 2022 for Richard Hannon, so these silks can lead the two-year-olds home again from a good draw in Stall 15

William Hill Epic Boost Spring Mile Handicap 2.25
Harswell Duke
Roger Fell’s Harswell Duke should come on for a run on the all-weather at Newcastle ten days back, not forced. It’s the same route he took to this race last year where he led the group on the stand side out of Stall 15. In the next-door trap this time with conditions very much the same, so another big run on the cards. Harswell Duke to repeat last year’s win in a tussle with Thunder Roar

William Hill Cammidge Trophy Stakes (Listed) 3.00
Marshman (nb)
Karl Burke could have the answer to the Cammidge with Marshman, with this ease in grade leaving less on his plate. This speedy Harry Angel colt started with a win in a Group 3 at Chantilly last season, so it can be taken on trust that he’ll be tuned up for this first run of 2024, and with both Karl Burke and jockey Clifford Lee having a good patch, lots to like. George Boughey’s Baradar and Charlie Hills’s Orazio can fill the places behind Marshman

William Hill Lincoln (Heritage Handicap) 3.35
Farhh To Shy
Benoit De La Sayette has a brilliant record in the Lincoln, and is taken to land a third win in four years on Farhh To Shy. She has form from Ascot on soft ground, and can join the centre group from Stall 6. Fozzy Stack’s Chazzesmee won the Irish Lincolnshire on Monday, and if fully recovered from that can play a part, while Karl Burke’s Liberty Lane has been well backed in the ante-post markets and should also be in the mix. Big claims for Benoit De La Sayette to land the feature yet again, at a tempting each-way price

The Mandarin

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