MAD MAX can take the measure of El Dancer and Woolcombe Folly. The selection won at Kempton despite making a bad error with two to jump and was able to assert his authority close home. A notably large individual, that track may not have suited ideally and the longer straights at Doncaster should play to his strengths. El Dancer lost no cast in defeat behind Riverside Theatre. Lucy Wadham's charge shapes as if he may need further in time but good races for smart novices are in notably short supply at present and he is forced to take his chance today. Woolcombe Folly was a useful hurdler before absence. He is sure to be far enough forward in his work, though this represents a tough reappearance. Joe Jo Star was a very workmanlike performer over hurdles. He might just need this race following a six month absence. There was no fluke about I'm Delilah's beating of Noble Alan over course and distance. This is a much tougher assignment but she will be in receipt of plenty of weight. A quality turnout for a decent Grade 2 prize and Mad Max has the best credentials in the formbook.
Mad Max (IRE) 5-6fav (11-0) Tracked leading pair, went 2nd after 2nd, led 6th, joined 4 out, narrow lead when blundered 2 out, good jump to assert after last, won at Kempton 2m nov chs (2) sft in Jan beating Mahonia (11-0) by 4 1/2l, 5 ran.
El Dancer (GER) 7-2 (11-2) Tracked leading pair, not much room on inside, hampered and lost place bend after 4 out, rallied to 2nd 2 out, no chance with winner, 2nd of 5, 12l behind Riverside Theatre (11-8) at Kempton 2m nov chs Grade 2 4yo+ (1) gs in Dec.
Joe Jo Star 6-1fav (10-13) Mid-division, stumbled badly 3rd, headway approaching 6th, 3rd before 2 out, weakened last, 7th of 13, 12l behind Cootehill (10-0) at Market Rasen 2m 1f lst hcp hdl (0-150) (1) gd in Jul.
Woolcombe Folly (IRE) 8-11fav (11-8) Took keen hold, held up in 4th, close up after 3 out, led, going well approaching 2 out, ridden before last, stayed on well flat, won at Kempton 2m lstd nov hdl (1) gd in Oct '08 beating Levera (11-6) by 2 1/2l, 6 ran.
I'm Delilah 9-4 (10-6) Made all, stayed on well from last, won at Doncaster 2m nov chs (3) gd in Dec beating Noble Alan (11-5) by 5l, 10 ran.