We begin todays’ preview with an intriguing five furlong sprint where three or four of the nine runners appear to hold decent chances. Smoothtalkingrascal sneaks in to this class thanks to a 3lbs drop in the weights despite a reasonable run in the Epsom Dash last week. He hasn’t won in just over a year but does have a career strike rate of 34% for top three finishes and three of his four career wins have been over todays’ trip so has to be respected and a chance is taken that he can build on last weeks’ performance. Early Favourite Slip Sliding Away has a win rate of almost 21% on turf and benefits from Tom Marquands’ claim which effectively brings him 2lbs below his last winning mark. He is another who hasn’t won for around a year but he has at least placed on three occasions since his last win. With no wins from five attempts over todays’ trip he cannot be backed for win purposes at current prices but should challenge for minor honours. Of the remainder Powerful Wind warrants respect having won nine times over five furlongs although he finished last of eleven just yesterday, while Desert Command drops down in class and distance after previous wins over six furlongs and cannot be ignored.
Smoothtalkingrascal (E/W if 9/2+)
We move over to Doncaster for a race that I think should come down to the two at the head of the market. Sampera arrives on the back of a win on good-to-firm ground at Leicester last month and is the only one of the field who has previously won over ten furlongs but was all out to win by a neck and, raised 4lbs for that win and with 60yards further to travel today she could be vulnerable. Dark Avenger posted his best effort so far when only beaten by a length at Salisbury last month and with the benefit of the experience of racing on turf now under his belt, racing off the same mark and with Ryan Moore taking over in the saddle, he should be able to continue improving and win this race today. Of the remainder Borak has a second and third to his name when racing on the all-weather and although hasn’t shown much in three runs on turf all these runs were on much softer ground so he may appreciate the anticipated firmer ground today.
Dark Avenger (WIN)
We stay at Doncaster for our final preview, where Derulo is the early market leader and will likely be popular with punters after three placed efforts in his last three runs. He is obviously in good form at the moment but is passed over today as he has now attempted todays’ trip on seven occasions with only one success and has been raised 2lbs for his last run despite only managing second. Margarets Mission showed a marked improvement when returning a 25/1 winner last time out but has been raised 6lbs for her troubles and had shown little in her four prior runs so is by no means a certainty to follow up here. Thornaby Nash would warrant consideration if there were any ease in the ground conditions as he has won on soft ground previously and also placed on good-to soft, but has raced on good-to-firm twice before and disappointed on both occasions. Preference is for Ted’s Brother, at an attractive each way price, who is a previous winner over todays’ trip and has also been successful previously here at Doncaster. His recent form isn’t the most impressive but has been eased another 2lbs and although only sixth last time out the second, third and fifth all won next time out.
Ted’s Brother (E/W)