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The next step.

Byline: Racing Preview

Stepping Up is fancied to provide the Godolphin team with another victory when he contests the Frank Haslam Milan Conditions Stakes at Nottingham (3.10).

This lightly-raced son of Soviet Star has presumably not been the easiest to train as he has only graced the racecourse on one occasion this season, but he looked a horse to keep a close eye on after running a race full of promise.

Stepping Up enjoyed a nine-length romp at Newcastle on his debut as a juvenile last year, before running this season's French 2000 Guineas hero Aussie Rules to a length in a Group Three event at Newmarket.

He was then not beaten by far in a similar contest on his last start for Mark Johnston, which prompted the Godolphin operation to add him to their ranks.

Despite being outpaced at Redcar on his return late last month, the colt flew home to grab fourth behind New Seeker in what was a much stronger race than this.

He is entitled to have come on a bundle for that fine effort, and with the step up to this extended mile sure to suit, he looks to hold outstanding claims of notching up career success number two.

Many shrewd operators were keen to keep close tabs on the progress of Brendan Powell's Big Rob last season but his supporters endured a frustrating campaign.

He was sent off the well-supported favourite in his first three races, but failed to complete in the first two and had to settle for second on his third start.

The seven-year-old was again the bridesmaid on his final two starts, but the level of the form achieved in running a couple of reliable yardsticks close on those occasions suggests he should make handsome amends this winter.

With that in mind, Big Rob is taken to prove the point by claiming gold in the Macer Gifford Memorial Handicap Chase at Huntingdon (2.20).

Notanotherdonkey should take a power of beating in his quest to follow up a recent victory in the Launching On November 25th 2006 Novices' Handicap Chase at Chepstow (2.45).

Although it took the six-year-old no fewer than 16 races to break his maiden tag, he did so in fine style in a more competitive heat at Cheltenham last week, where he ran out a thoroughly convincing winner.

His fencing was pretty slick in the main and after taking up the running after the third-last obstacle, he powered clear and stayed on well in the manner of an improving horse.

While he must shrug off a 7lb penalty for that success, Notanotherdonkey looks well placed to do so in a very winnable race.

Kempton stages a typically competitive all-weather fixture, where Zowington is fancied to go well in the Handicap (5.20).

Chris Wall's speedy four-year-old ran a good race to finish third last time and should give his rivals plenty to think about if turning up in the same mood here.
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Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport Racing
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Oct 31, 2006
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