Nigel Kirby PhotographyDovils Date is part of the scenery at Pant Wilkin, having joined the yard in November 2012. Since then, he has won 12 times, for seven different jockeys, from exactly 50 starts for us.

Alan Johns and George Blackwell both won on him as 10lbs claimers, and most recently it was Charlie Price’s turn, claiming 8lbs in a conditional jockey’s contest at Uttoxeter on this day last year.   Having dropped to a very workable mark, Dovils won his first race over hurdles since 2016 (though he had won three on the flat the following year), hitting the front approaching the last and keeping on in customary game fashion to record a very popular win for his owners in the Itsfuninit syndicate, several of whom are local to the course.

He has always been a horse to follow when in form and went on to record the second hat-trick of his career, addition an impressive win at Southwell before another easy success at Stratford. He will be back on the flat this summer and it would be lovely to see him back in the winners’ enclosure.