Bella Brazil is an intriguing challenger from Ireland in the feature event of the afternoon at Newcastle.

A winner on her second start for David Barron at Redcar last May, the daughter of Clodovil failed to deliver on that early promise in her next five starts, prompting owner Peter Savill to send her to Jessica Harrington.

The change of scenery appears to have had the desired effect, as Bella Brazil returned to Britain to make a winning debut for the Moone-based trainer in some style at Kempton, despite running from 5lb out of the handicap.

Although she looked to have her work cut out turning for home, she ended up powering clear of a few highly-rated rivals and there is every chance of further improvement in the locker.

With the ever-impressive Hollie Doyle in the saddle once more, Bella Brazil looks sure to make her presence felt in the Ladbrokes Where The Nation Plays Handicap.

Noble Behest is expected to continue his winning streak in the opening Betway Handicap. The six-year-old’s record of eight victories from 18 career starts is not to be sniffed at - and he has not looked back since registering his first success since joining Ian Williams at Chelmsford in November.

The margin of his next triumph at Wolverhampton was a narrow one, but he fairly bolted up when completing the hat-trick at Southwell on Sunday.

A 5lb penalty is unlikely to be enough to stop him going in again just four days later.

Agent Shiftwell rates the best bet on the twilight fixture at Chelmsford.

Following autumn placed efforts at Windsor and Newcastle respectively, the Stuart Williams-trained colt justified odds-on favouritism when making it third time lucky at Wolverhampton.

The speedy son of Equiano made all the running at Dunstall Park - and as long as he gets off to a good start, he is likely to take plenty of pegging back again as he enters open company on a mark of 75 in the Irish Lotto At Handicap.

It is one of the big days of the season at Catterick, with the Watt Fences North Yorkshire Grand National taking centre stage.

The vote goes to the locally-trained Little Bruce, who rarely runs a bad race for Phil Kirby. His last nine starts have yielded two wins and five placed finishes - and on his last run over fences he was seen finishing second at Cheltenham.

The Yeats gelding made his reappearance over hurdles at Doncaster during the festive period and with that run likely to have blown away a few cobwebs, he should be primed for his return to the larger obstacles.

Listed honours are up for grabs in the Charnwood Forest Mares’ Chase at Leicester.

The standard is set by the 147-rated The Bay Birch, but preference is for the Harry Fry-trained Litterale Ci.

She was a winner over fences at Exeter on her seasonal bow in October, but had to settle for third in a very competitive mares’ hurdle at Wincanton on her latest start.

That was still a decent run and with Fry’s yard in excellent form at present, Litterale Ci can keep the bandwagon rolling.

n NEIL Mulholland is hoping conditions are not too demanding for Impulsive Star in his quest to register back-to-back victories in the McCoy Contractors Civil Engineering Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick on Saturday.

The ground was described as good when Impulsive Star landed the spoils by three and a quarter lengths from Calett Mad, and Mulholland will be praying for more of the same.

Impulsive Star was pulled up in both his subsequent starts last season and suffered a similar fate on his reappearance at Cheltenham last month.

Mulholland feels the soft ground was to blame and is expecting a much improved-display at the weekend.

“Everything’s fine. It’s all good and we’re happy with him,” said the Wiltshire handler.