The frost denied the Nicky Richards-trained My Old Gold her chance of landing the £30,000 Houghton Chase at Carlisle’s abandoned meeting earlier in the month but the nine-year-old can find compensation in the Bet365 Handicap Chase at Doncaster tomorrow.

Described by her trainer as “a good honest mare who is consistent and never runs a bad race”, My Old Gold began her career in the point-to-point field and was already seven before making her debut under rules.

Last season, My Old Gold scored at Wetherby and at Perth last April when she earned valuable “Black Type” in a Listed chase.

Reappearing in the Colin Parker Memorial Chase, the Greystoke mare was outpaced by Lostintranslation but jumped soundly and stayed on to finish a respectable fourth. She will have benefited from the race and should be suited by the drying ground at Town Moor.

Brian Hughes is booked to ride and Nicky Richards reckons that there will be no stamina problems. He says: “Two-and-a-half-miles is arguably her ideal trip but she stays well and won’t mind the extra distance.”

My Old Gold can complete a Doncaster double for Brian Hughes as, earlier in the afternoon, the North’s leading jumps jockey is set to partner Windsor Avenue in the 3m novices chase.

The Brian Ellison-trained gelding is two from two over fences. He proved too good for Knockoura on his chase debut at Sedgefield but Maurice Barnes’ runner-up franked the form with a wide margin win next time out at Ayr, and Windsor Avenue himself went on to gain an impressive victory over a well-fancied Twiston-Davies novice chaser at Carlisle.

The progressive Windsor Avenue is a smart prospect over the major obstacles.

Cheltenham’s Saturday card is crammed full of quality but the most competitive event at Prestbury Park is the annual renewal of the Caspian Caviar Chase, won two seasons ago by Guitar Pete.

The experienced Greystoke performer finished third last time round and Nicky Richards has once again declared him at the five-day stage.

Nicky adds: “Guitar Pete wants some rain at Cheltenham. He likes it soft underfoot and in midweek the going was quickening up. The forecast is for rain in the area so we just have to wait and see. If the going turns soft, he runs and I would be hopeful of a bold showing. He will be staying at home if the ground continues to dry out.”

Hardly a week goes by without reference to the remarkable performances of past winners of Carlisle’s Colin Parker Memorial Chase.

Last Saturday it was the turn of the 2017 winner Waiting Patiently to grab the headlines.

Ruth Jefferson’s star chaser did not actually win the Tingle Creek Chase but his strong finishing and close-up third in this famous Grade 1 contest indicated that the issues of the past 18 months are behind him. And assuming that he comes out of the race fit and unscathed, then outright success at this level is once more a real possibility.

The two miles of the Tingle Creek was palpably too short a trip for Waiting Patiently but his jumping was quick and accurate and his acceleration from the final fence was eye-catching. He could well have won the race within a further 20 strides and a similar display over two-and-a-half miles or even three miles can see him back in the winner’s enclosure.

The highlight at Aintree was the Becher Chase, won back-to-back by Walk In The Mill, fourth behind Tiger Roll in the 2019 Grand National and now a fancied contender to improve on that effort next April.

Personally I prefer the National claims of the Becher fourth Definitly Red, and the fifth home One For Arthur both of whom were making late headway on Saturday and are certain to appreciate the extra mile of the Grand National.

Sunday’s Persimmon Homes Borders National proved a family triumph for the Davidsons who had not only sponsored the race but also owned the winner of the marathon contest Bigirononhiship trained by their daughter Rose and son in law Tony Dobbin.

The local Cumbrian hope, the Maurice Barnes-trained Bafana Blue, ran a fine race to finish fourth. Approaching the second last he looked the possible winner but he tired in between the last two and lost out over the final obstacle. The trip could have been just too far or he might have found himself in a challenging position a shade too soon.

Hard to say but either way. Bafana Blue proved a credit to connections.

The weather-forecasters are keen to keep those of us determined to enjoy Carlisle’s pre-Christmas meeting this Sunday on the edge of our seats. Not frost this time but the threat of rain, even snow.

Joking of course - Santa simply would not allow a second cancellation and Nicky Richards in particular will be sure to see the fixture going ahead.

The Greystoke trainer has a host of likely contenders entered at the five-day stage and could, on paper anyway, win the first three races on the card.

His Taking Flight will be a popular choice for the opener and Skiddaw Tara has an obvious chance in the 3m maiden hurdle.

Owned by John Wills, she ran an encouraging third in a stronger race at Ayr and acts on soft ground.

Chapel Stile would arguably be the classiest of the Greystoke entries if his trainer opts to let him take his chance in the Class 3 novices chase.

The winner of his last three races over hurdles he made a most pleasing debut over fences when a staying on third in Carlisle’s Graduation Chase having been sent off at odds of 22/1. He will not start at that sort of a price on Sunday but should win if standing his ground overnight.

The Richards monopoly can end in the valuable 3m handicap hurdle in which Harriet Graham’s Aye Right is set to take on the locally owned money-spinner Justatenner.

The latter’s trainer Tristan Davidson also has Justatenner entered at Bangor this afternoon so keep a careful watch at the overnight declarations.