South Wales Echo

All hail Simcock’s Bless Him


BLESS HIM is capable of giving weight and a beating to his rivals in the All Weather Championsh­ips Mile Handicap at Newcastle.

David Simcock’s charge had a three-figure rating this time last year and finished a clear second to multiple Group One winner Palace Pier in a Group Two at Sandown in April.

The eight-year-old kicked off 2022 by finishing second over a mile here in January before running with credit on a couple of occasions in Dubai.

He was last seen finishing fifth in the Lincoln Trial at Wolverhamp­ton, where he was too far back to be able to land a telling blow and was not disgraced in the circumstan­ces.

Running off 96 on his return to Gosforth Park, he is handicappe­d to go well if things fall his way.

The fact True Mason has only won once in 34 starts hardly inspires confidence, but a recent better effort could bode well for his chances in the #BetYourWay At Betway Handicap.

Now on a mark of 67, the six-yearold was rated as high as 109 in his pomp, but a disappoint­ing run of performanc­es over the last three years is reflected in his current rating.

True Mason’s three-quarter-length defeat at Newcastle 10 days ago was a definite improvemen­t and hopes can be reasonably high with his confidence enhanced.

Brief Ambition can strike Ludlow gold for Fergal O’Brien in the Weatherbys nhstallion­ Handicap Chase.

The eight-year-old has triumphed in three of his four starts this term, with all of those runs coming well before the proper winter ground really took root.

Clearly he prefers to hear his hooves rattle and although he must overcome a 126-day absence, he looked a really nice prospect before his winter break.

Real Steel is given one more chance in the #21,000 Boyne Cup.

The French-bred gelding was rated a lofty 166 after being beaten just over seven lengths by then stablemate Al Boum Photo in the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

He subsequent­ly left Willie Mullins and joined Paul Nicholls and has been largely disappoint­ing since.

The upside is his mark has dropped to just 137, allowing him to get into this 0-140 contest.

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