Virgin Bet Grimthorpe Chase
Handicap, Doncaster 15:30
 £37,500 added,
5yo plus,
3m 2f 1y, Class 2   
Saturday 6th March 2021

1 Red Infantry 8/1
2 Special Prep 5/1
3 Canelo 13/8F
7 ran Distances: hd, 7l, ¾l
Time: 6m 32.10s (slow by 8.10s)

Special Prep was only narrowly denied and he almost landed an almighty gamble having been sent off 5/1 after being available at four times those odds on Friday.

Red Infantry had led from the outset, though, and he dug deep under 5lb claimer Charlie Todd to get back up late on for the in-form Ian Williams yard despite being headed by Special Prep jumping the last.

Canelo looked a threat on the outside at that stage, too, but while he wilted out of contention after the final fence the front two slugged it out in a cracking finish.

The winner and runner-up got very close together approaching the last, prompting a stewards' enquiry, but the places remained unaltered after a lengthy deliberation.

Williams said: “It was a great result. The ground and everything came right for him. He had a bit of time off with an injury, but he’s run to his best today.

“He’s not the easiest to ride and Charlie has given him a great ride on what is probably one of his last opportunities to ride as 5lb claimer.

“Whether he goes for the Midlands National or we might hang on to him for Sandown (the bet365 Gold Cup) remains to be seen, depending on how he comes out of today.

“He’s won around there (Sandown) and likes it there. That’s probably the plan.”

A delighted Todd said of Red Infantry: “He fought all the way to the line. I always felt he was going to cling on.

“He didn’t run badly here the last day. The step up in trip definitely helped.

“The change of tactics helped – go a good gallop and make use of a low weight. We just gave it a good go.

“I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet.”

Virgin Bet Grimthorpe Chase (Handicap)
£37,500 added, 5yo plus, 3m 2f 1y, Class 2
7 ran
Going: Good

POS. DIST FORM HORSE AGE TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1     Red Infantry 11 10-2 Ian Williams Charlie Todd 8/1
2
hd Special Prep 9 10-2 Pauline Robson Jack Tudor 5/1
3
7 Canelo 8 11-6 Alan King Tom Bellamy 13/8F
4
¾ Chidswell 12 10-3 Nicky Richards Ryan Day 6/1
5
2 Chef D'Oeuvre 10 10-0 Sam England David England 14/1
6
35 Just A Sting 9 10-8 Harry Fry Bryan Carver 16/1
7
26 Beware The Bear 11 11-12 Nicky Henderson James Bowen 4/1