A very good morning/afternoon/evening depending on what time you are casting your eyes on today’s ramblings. I hope you are all well and have lots of festivities planned for the weekend. Mine unfortunately will not include any chocolate (well I’ll try) and although I am due to be attending a big night out on Saturday I doubt it will include any alcohol either. Training is still going well, I’ve just had to change things up a little in the last week or so as my weight had plateaued somewhat. Still being incredibly good all round bout I’d only lost 2lbs in the last 3 weeks so a change is required.
A must give a quick mention to Miako who ran really flat on Wednesday. Luke Morris rode him as midge was banned. He is gonna have a month off now and we will look at possible future plans then. There are not many opportunities at Southwell now for him really until the winter so we may give him a go on turf to see how he does.
As we have a day of no racing today I thought I would really get stuck into the card at Doncaster and see if I can find any gems. I’ve just done the usual browsing through the Proform stats for the last two weeks and there are one or two eye catchers.
Trainers win and place strike rates over the last 14 days….
John Gosden 100%
Hans Adielsson 80%
Marco Botti 70%
Richard Fahey 64.71%
Richard Hannon 62.50%
Steve Gollings, Alan Swinbank, Ed Vaughan all 60%
Doncaster 1.20 6f Class 2 William Hill-No 1 Downloaded Betting App Handicap (4yo plus)
A devilishly difficult start to the day at Doncaster. The last 8 running’s of this contest have seen winning SP’s of 33/1, 40/1, 16/1, 16/1 and 66/1, so whatever you find don’t let a price put you off. Fitness will have to be taken on trust as only Thunderball has run within the last 50 days. King of Jazz for Michael Bell is likely to head the betting as he is starting to look attractively handicapped but he hasn’t won since his maiden which is off-putting. Darren Egan will take off a handy 3lbs mind. By far the most interesting one from a handicapping point fo view is David Barron’s COLONEL MAK. He’s on a good mark on some of his old form and with trip and ground ideal the 5lb claim of Luke Mcniff makes him of real interest if he could return to something like his best. You cannot ignore the claims of Richard Fahey’s runners in these early season contests and both FARLOW and ALEJANDRO make some appeal. The former is likely to be towards the head of the betting and the lightly raced five-year old is only a pound higher than his last win. Most of his best form however does come on a firmer surface which would be a slight concern, but if he handles it, he should go close. Jamaican Bolt was progressive last year and bumped into a bang in from Jack Dexter when second on his last start here in October. The ground will hold no fears at all. All his best form is over five so this might stretch him a little but the yards horses are generally running well. There isn’t an awful lot of early speed in here which might play to the strengths of the consistent mare Spinatrix with Connor Beasley taking off 7lbs.
I’ll be backing Colonel Mak with savers on Farlow, Alejandro and Spinatrix on Betfair at inflated prices.
Doncaster 1.55 William Hill Spring Mile (Handicap) (CLASS 2) (4yo+)
A wide open Spring Mile with several potential improvers not least Educate and Nameitwhatyoulike. Dubai Hills has been winning off higher marks around Southwell and comes here in rude health. He does tend to save his best for the fibresand however. This is one fo the races that I like to look for some value and maybe play a few against the field. The first one that jumps off the page at me is PATRIOTIC. Chris Dwyers gelding will be largely ignored in the betting but there is reason to believe that he is a player. Firstly he is fit from the all-weather which includes a win two starts back off a mark of 77. His turf mark is lower than his all-weather mark and he gets in here off 74. The very talented Robert tart will take off a very valuable 5lbs too. His last visit to Doncaster resulted in a win over this course and distance and he has run well on soft ground in the past. The race hasn’t been priced up yet but he’s trading around 32’s on Betfair and I had him in at about 14/1 so that makes him of massive each way interest. I think Extraterrestrial is over priced, as is the race fit Docofthebay. From the front of the market GAUL WOOD makes most appeal. Lightly raced, he is ultra consistent and goes well fresh.
1.5 pts each way Patriotic 33/1, 1 pt win Gaul Wood. 0.5 pts win on Extraterrestrial and Docofthebay.
Doncaster 2.30 William Hill – New iPad App Cammidge Trophy (Listed Race) (CLASS 1) (3yo+)
An interesting renewal with one or two of last years most progressive sprinters. Humidor tends to do most of his winning over 5f and may want a better surface. Captain Ramius and Our Jonathon renew their rivalry and are sure to go well but clear preference is for Jack Dexter who improved leaps and bounds last year and looks set to continue that progress with conditions to suit.
Jack Dexter 1 pt win.
3.05 Doncaster William Hill Lincoln (Heritage Handicap) (CLASS 2) (4yo+)
A fascinating renewal of the first big handicap of the season seven days later than expected. Captain Bertie has been very well backed to continue last years progression and the yard are going very well. I think he’s short enough but he does have a very high strike rate when the ground description includes soft or heavy. Strictly Silver comes here on the back of a deserved victory at Wolverhampton but isn’t sure to go on the ground. By far the most interesting one towards the head of the market for me is LAHAAG. Trip and ground are ideal and the yards horses are running very well indeed (100% win and place strike rate last 14 days). He was beaten by Chapter Seven when last seen at York but he was keen that day and is likely to be bigger and stronger this time around. I like him a lot and think he’ll take some beating. Of the others last years winner BRAE HILL will have very chance again off the same mark with conditions to suit. Chosen Character improved leaps and bounds last year and it will be interesting to see how he fares in this much tougher grade. The two at big prices that look over-priced are DUBAI DYNAMO and BANCNUANAHEIRANN. 65’s and 40’s on Betfair are prices that should be taken. DD always needs a couple of runs to put him right and is feasibly handicapped. Mick Aplleby’s runner was acquired from Jim Bolger last summer and ran some cracking races in defeat in big handicaps. The yard is going great runs at the moment and if he is cherry ripe Bancnuanaheirann could really out run his price.
Lahaag 3 pts win @ 8/1, Dubai Dynao and Bancnuanaheirann 1 pt each way @ 65’s and 40/1.
4.15 Doncaster Harriet Powell Handicap (Div I) (CLASS 4) (4yo+ 0-85)
Nice and straight forward here as I am really keen on the chances of EASTERN DESTINY who ran flat on her last start at the end of last season but has progressed nicely before that. If she’s cherry ripe I think she will go very close!
Eastern Destiny 1pt win.
Away from Doncaster I will be backing PEPITE ROSE over at Haydock (3.15) She still looks on a really attractive mark to me and would surely have won at Newbury last time when falling three out. A recovery mission today.
It is of course DUBAI WORLD CUP night aswell on Saturday and if you are a big fan of your international racing I recorded Timeform Radio’s Dubai World Cup International Racing Podcast alongside Stephen Molyneux which you can listen too via http://www.timeform.com/radio it can also be downloaded from the site and of course through itunes. Stephen had one or two strong fancies on the card and is well worth a listen.
The domestic football action is back and the hammers entertain West Brom at Upton Park tomorrow. Three points is a must to re-establish our mid table position.
Enjoy what is a craking weekend of sporting action.
Be lucky and back plenty of winners.