The first of three races at Doncaster sees a tough looking seven furlong handicap where there’s a duo of horses I like the look of in this.
The first is a former course and distance winner PRESIDENTIAL who has a solid record here at the Yorkshire course. A horse that acts well at this venue is a massive positive and now back to around his last winning mark should be competitive at a massive price of 18/1.
The other selection hails from a yard who are in solid form of late and drops back down to Class 3 company after competing at a higher level. FIRMAMENT is more than capable at this level and can sneak a place at a decent price.
It Had To Be You may be a three race maiden but showed enough on return to suggest he could compete in a race of this nature, likely to be there or thereabouts but at 7/2, in what looks a very competitive race, you have to look for something at a bigger price.
The only course and distance winner in the lineup is RIGHT ACTION and Richard Fahey’s runner deserves a chance. He hasn’t done so well of late but both victories here at Doncaster came off much higher marks and as the bookmakers are giving him a generous price of 10/1 that’s too good to turn down.
Although he’s somewhat of a proverbial bridesmaid with consecutive second placed finishes for the last four starts it’s hard to ignore anything that the experienced Sam Waley-Cohen is onboard in these amateur riders races and today he jumps aboard JEN'S BOY. Clearly the six year old has enough ability to finish in the frame so frequently and I’m happy to side with Nicky Henderson’s charge to at least grab a place at around 11/2.
Oisin Murphy has far bigger mounts to worry about this Saturday but can still add another win to his ever increasing tally with four year old ARCHAEOLOGY. A former course winner who’s not been at his best this term but now finds himself below his last winning mark for the first time in eleven starts. He should relish the softer ground and with such an eye-catching jockey booking deserves support.
The first and only all-weather selection this Saturday sees us side with yet another course and distance winner this time in the form of ATYAAF. Although the five year old hasn’t finished in the top half of their last three starts. Recently changed yards to Ivan Furtado who’s operating at a 23% strike rate. The horses form at Chelmsford includes one victory and two places from four starts here and now back to this course below his last winning mark should do much better than his 10/1 price.
In the following race at the home of jumps racing we have potentially a very good national hunt flat race on offer. With four of the runners holding unbeaten records, seven of them winning last time out and ten of the fifteen runners at least placing in their short careers so far. I’m siding with one of the unbeaten quartet in the form of the Olly Murphy trained RESTANDBETHANKFUL. A close winner at Perth and although this is obviously tougher as he hails from a relatively in form yard I’m happy to go with him to make it back to back. The best of the rest looks to be Animal who shouldn’t be far away.
written by Rory Paddock