Having missed the best part of a year through injury, Dovils Date has made up for lost time of late and, after making much of the running to win at Taunton in March, he recorded his second success of the season with a narrow victory at Newton Abbot on Friday under Alan Johns.

We have always thought Dovils Date would need good ground and it is to his credit that his recent progression has come on good to soft and soft ground.  Though he is likely to be raised another 5-6lbs, he could well play a part some of the valuable handicap hurdles this summer.   Congratulations to Dovils Date’s owners, the Itsfuninit syndicate.

It was Alan’s fifth winner under rules, so his claim is now reduced to 7lbs, but in getting the better of a tight finish against AP McCoy he showed he is certainly good value for the allowance!