sport

Downie's feet on The Ground

Connections of impressive dual Doncaster scorer Off The Ground will stick to handicap company for the time being.

Emma Lavelle's seven-year-old defied a 15lb rise in the handicap with another smooth success at Town Moor on Saturday and is likely to be handed another hefty hike in the weights.

That is likely to take his rating above 140, which will open up some nice avenues for the son of Oscar, who has struck up a good partnership with Leighton Aspell.

Dan Downie, who manages the Axom syndicate who own the gelding said: "I spoke to Emma yesterday and we are going to stick to handicaps for now. He's still a novice so we've got some nice options for him now.

"He travels so well in his races but he has been suited by this decent ground, it's really helped his jumping. With the Festivals in the mind in the spring that is very nice to know.

"We'll just have to see what the handicapper actually does but I think he'll get further in time. He's always worked well and shown speed at home.

"Unless there was a race we had to go for we'd be looking to keep him to left-handed tracks for now, Newbury would be perfect."