Promising hurdler Don Bersy chasing four-timer at Newbury
Tom Symonds is doubly represented on day two of the Be Wiser Jump Season Finale at Newbury tomorrow, Saturday, March 25, headed by the prolific Don Bersy in the OCSL Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (3.35pm, 11 runners), one of two £40,000 handicaps on the card.
Don Bersy (Aidan Coleman, 11st 11lb) is tackling the two mile, three-furlong distance for the first time after completing a hat-trick of wins in the Victor Ludorum Juvenile Hurdle at Haydock Park on February 18.
The first two legs of the three-timer came in juvenile hurdles at Sandown Park and Warwick, with decent yardsticks Coeur De Lion and Dino Velvet in behind.
Symonds said today: “It was well documented that we were always going to skip Cheltenham with Don Bersy.
“He has done very well in the time since Haydock where he was a good winner. I think he is a horse who has matured mentally with each run without having the gun put to his head. He has been really good at home and hopefully we will see that tomorrow.
“He has looked better the further he has gone in all his starts this year. He stayed on strongly over a stiff two miles at Sandown. I am looking forward to running him over this trip.
“I would not rule out Aintree after this. I never rule anything out. If it went very well tomorrow, it is a possibility but obviously the weather will dictate what we do. There is also Punchestown to consider as well.”
Don Bersy’s 10 rivals include top-weight Night Of Sin (Nick Williams/Lizzie Kelly (3), 11st 12lb), Dinsdale (Michael Scudamore/Tom Scudamore, 11st 1lb) and Buckle Street (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler, 10st 13lb), who were all successful last time out.
A large field of 17 go in the £40,000 Grade Two EBF & TBA Mares’ National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle Finale Limited Handicap (3.00pm) over an extended two and a half miles.
The line-up features top-weight Tara View (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson, 11st 10lb), who is unbeaten in three starts over hurdles this season, Listed bumper scorer Copper Kay (Philip Hobbs/Richard Johnson, 11st 7lb) and the hat-trick seeking Hitherjacques Lady (Oliver Sherwood/Leighton Aspell, 11st 5lb).
Symonds runs River Arrow (Jamie Moore, 10st 11lb) who bounced back from a disappointing effort at Warwick with victory against the boys in a two and a half mile novices’ hurdle at Southwell on March 6.
The trainer added: “River Arrow winning at Southwell was not a surprise at all. She has always shown plenty of ability but was a bit mercurial early on as the fairer sex can be.
“The ground would need to stay as it is for her to run. The ground was very hard work at Southwell and she has got a real soft ground action. We will see how things pan out with the ground.”
The most valuable race on the card is the £50,000 Goffs UK Spring Sales Bumper (4.45pm, 20 runners), which is restricted to horses sold at specified Goffs/DBS sales during the last three years. Past winners of the race include Diamond Harry.
Alan King has won three renewals since 2009 and is doubly represented by Harefield (Wayne Hutchinson), who was runner-up on debut, and unraced four-year-old Deyrann De Carjac (Tom Cannon).
Nicky Henderson saddles likely favourite Ligny (Nico de Boinville). Fontwell Park victors Chez Castel Mail (Ali Stronge/Gavin Sheehan) and Larry (Gary Moore/Jamie Moore also run).
Tomorrow’s seven-race card starts at 1.50pm and concludes at 5.20pm. The Be Wiser Jump Season Finale gets underway today at Newbury.