Sky Bet Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle
Grade 2, Kempton Park 15:40
£60,000 guaranteed,
4yo only,
2m, Class 1   
Saturday 25th February 2023

Free Racing Tips

1 Rubaud 11/4
2 Mullenbeg 7/1
3 Ukantango 7/2
7 ran Distances: 1¼l, 12l, 1l
Time: 3m 50.55s (slow by 9.55s)

The Paul Nicholls-trained Rubaud was strongly fancied for the richest handicap hurdle of the season at Newbury a fortnight ago but gave himself no chance by racing far too freely.

Front-running tactics were employed this time by Harry Cobden and fitted with a hood he was much more settled.

Cobden was able to dictate matters at his own pace and when he kicked coming out of the home straight, he looked to have an unassailable advantage.

The favourite Hansard soon dropped away, as did Ukantango, but the mare Mullenbeg quickened up to almost join the leader.

She could not quite reel him in, though, and went down by a length and a quarter.

“We probably should have put a hood on him at Newbury where he got lit up and was far too keen,” said Nicholls.

“He’s a proper horse who jumps nicely and will now go to Aintree for the Grade One over two miles.

“He’s in the Supreme but there’s no point going there, he will have a much better chance of being able to dictate at Aintree.

“He goes a good gallop, he’s a good horse but just needs to learn how to relax.

“We had his wind sorted out and he’s been one that’s needed time, a bit like Solo who we saw at his best in the Pendil.”


Sky Bet Dovecote Novices' Hurdle
£60,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 2m, Class 1
7 ran
Going: Good, Good to Soft in places

1    Rubaud 5 11-5 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 11/4
Mullenbeg 6 10-12 Milton Harris Jonathan Burke 7/1
12 Ukantango 6 11-5 Olly Murphy Aidan Coleman 7/2
1 Imperial Bede 5 11-5 Jonjo O'Neill Jonjo O'Neill Jr 10/1
¾ Hansard 5 11-5 Gary Moore Jamie Moore 9/4F
Postmark 4 10-7 Milton Harris Mitchell Bastyan 16/1
PU Kayf Legend 5 11-5 Chris Gordon Tom Cannon 25/1