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)

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Twelve of the winning bidders will each host three group matches
football
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Primary Supply Teacher - Loughborough

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Teacher looking fo...

Primary General Cover Teachers

Negotiable: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Newly Qualified Teacher lo...

Part Time Primary Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Part Time Primary TeacherOur...

School Administrator

£50 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Long term SIMS School Administr...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week