Racing: Toiseach on an upward trend

JAMES FANSHAWE, the Group-winning Flat trainer, has a strange affection for racing over jumps considering the pursuit almost killed him.

In his point-to-pointing youth Fanshawe came a quite horrible cropper at Cottenham, breaking his neck and almost his connection with life itself. He does not bear a grudge though.

Indeed, the Newmarket man has enjoyed conspicuous success with National Hunt horses. Fanshawe did much to smooth over Kribensis's switch from summer to winter games, especially during the campaign in which he won the Triumph Hurdle, even though Michael Stoute was officially the grey's trainer. Then, in 1992, Fanshawe's own name was up in lights when Royal Gait won the Champion Hurdle.

The Toiseach, who runs at Doncaster today, may not be as talented as that pair but he does carry the distinction of being Fanshawe's first winner over fences. "When you've got a nice horse to train like this one, be it Flat or jumps, it's bloody good fun," the trainer said yesterday.

There are doubts today about the seven-year-old, even though he won a prestige event quite tidily at Ascot last time. "The Reynoldstown wasn't an epic race this year, even though we won it really well, and the ground will be different tomorrow," Fanshawe said. "He acts so well on the faster ground that it has got to be a a slight worry that the rain has come."

There is also the small matter of five rivals to overcome. No Saturday long-distance chase seems to go by without the participation of a horse from Paul Nicholls's yard and this afternoon is no exception as Galatasori Jane represents Manor Farm stables. She will go well.

Scotton Banks, the top weight, won a Peter Marsh Chase and a Martell Cup two seasons ago, which is a record which has not been lost on the handicapper. Despite running some stinkers since those glory days, Scotton Banks is coming down in the weights with the speed of a glacier. He hasn't moved far enough yet. The Toiseach (4.10), who is moving up through the weights, looks the best alternative.

In the card's other pounds 20,000 race Anabranch attempts to continue her winning sequence for perhaps Britain's most quietly effective trainer, Malcolm Jefferson. She won a Stratford handicap off 103 in October and now finds herself on a mark of 125 and appears vulnerable. The same could be said of Native Mission, who looked as though he wanted to take up a different sport when beaten last time. A value consideration here is REAL TONIC (nap 3.35), who has some solid form in the book.

An interesting runner in the first televised contest is Ardrina, who won at Newcastle last month after being pulled up on her previous two outings. Asked to explain this discrepancy, trainer Ferdy Murphy said the mare appreciated the better ground, drop in class and shorter trip and had also been receiving treatment for crushed vertebrae. The stewards probably threw him out before he could get on to signs of the zodiac and extra-terrestrial influence as further evidence. Iif she can avoid the death ray this afternoon, Ardrina (next best 3.05) should win again.

RICHARD EDMONDSON

NAP: Real Tonic

(Doncaster 3.35)

NB: Ardrina

(Doncaster 3.05)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

AER Teachers: Early Years Teaching Assistant Newham

Negotiable: AER Teachers: Outstanding East London primary school seeking an Ea...

AER Teachers: Southwark primary School looking for teaching assistants

Negotiable: AER Teachers: Southwark primary School looking for teaching assist...

Royal College of Music: Assistant to the Deputy Director & the Director of Research

£24,451 - £27,061 per annum: Royal College of Music: The Royal College of Musi...

Guru Careers: Marketing Analyst / Optimisation Analyst

£35 - £45k DOE + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing / Optimisation Analyst is...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future