OKOVANGO DELTA (12.50) took a nice step forward on his second start of the season five weeks ago at Catterick, finishing a close second at a big price. Having a run under his belt and stepping back up to 2m3f brought out the improvement we hoped for and with the handicapper only adding 1lb to his mark, he’s been given the opportunity to be competitive again.
He’s a horse we’ve always liked and a previous course winner here at Doncaster on good ground, so those two boxes are ticked. This is a higher grade of race and he’s up against a few progressive rivals, but he gets plenty of weight from the field and if he replicates the run in December he’ll have a chance of being in the mix. Craig Nichol takes over once again.
AAZZA (3.05) is another course and distance winner at Donny and lines up in their 3m handicap hurdle later in the card. Her wide-margin win in January last year came at a cost with a 13lbs rise and while she ran well subsequently at both Newcastle and Carlisle she has found life more difficult up so much in the weights.
Back down to a rating of 100, she’s right at the foot of the field for this race and with Dylan Johnston - who rode her last season - back on board and claiming 7lbs, she’s really only marginally above her old mark.
We know the track, trip and ground will suit so everything is there for her to kick on again and hopefully get back featuring in the shake-up.