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King aiming for the crown with Il Duce.

Byline: By Peter Hilton

Alan King introduces Il Duce to jumping in the Logistics Link North `National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle at Doncaster today and it would be no surprise if the son of Anshan went in at the first time of asking.

Il Duce has had two outings in bumpers this campaign, first running subsequent winner King Killone to a length and a quarter at Ludlow with the rest of the field 13 lengths and more away.

He confirmed the promise of that run by beating Westcraft a length on the all-weather at Lingfield Park, and this progressive sort looks a ready-made winner on his return to racing on turf.

James Fanshawe has a smart novice hurdler in Pole Star and Reveillez looks another useful recruit judged on his debut success at Windsor in November. The six-year-old would not have to step up much on his seven-length win over Finely Tuned to take the Civil Marriage Ceremony Venue Novices' Hurdle.

Family Venture has been in good nick this term with a victory and three placed efforts and with Ferdy Murphy's horses ticking along nicely, he looks the answer to the National Custom And Sports Car Show Handicap Chase.

The eight-year-old was a winner over Musselburgh's three miles last month and returned to the Scottish track to run Doe Nal Rua to three-quarters of a length after hitting the last when rallying.

The handicapper has not been hard on him and he is well worth sticking with while he is at the top of his game, especially if the ground at Doncaster remains good.

Dun Locha Castle is a tough customer and the ex-Irish 10-year-old should relish the stamina test of the three-and-a-quarter-mile Sky Bet Press Red To Bet Now Handicap Chase on soft ground at Plumpton.

Bought in the hope of winning an amateur riders' event over course and distance last month, Dun Locha Castle proved well up to the task and as he has run well in three outings since, he can go in again.

Barton Nic's rating over fences is way below his hurdling mark and he can make the most of it in the Sky Bet Press Red To Play Roulette Handicap Chase.

Paul Keane's veteran won a handicap hurdle at Sandown in November but failed to get home when stepped up considerably in trip on his return to fencing at Folkestone at the beginning of this month.

Back down to a more suitable two miles and a furlong on ground he should like, Barton Nic can show his appreciation by giving his younger rivals a beating.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 17, 2005
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