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13:15 Doncaster

The curtain raiser of the turf season is the Brocklesby tends to be a lottery which gives us the first chance to see this year’s crop of 2yo’s take to the racecourse. Last year’s winning connections will be hoping to repeat the success and are represented this year with a Brazen Beau colt Blatant out of an unraced dam from the family of Savanne a Group 3 winner in France.

Bill Turner has targeted this race many times over the years and is represented this year with Knowwhatimeanharry a 3,500gns purchase by first season sire Havana Grey who I feel could be one to follow this year.

The likely favorite is Persian Force for Amo Racing and Richard Hannon who will no doubt be a sharp given Amo Racing’s style of bringing horses through. But I tend to find that Hannon’s horse are better for a run.


written by Michael Taylor

13:35 Kelso

It’s fantastic to see this final staged at Kelso, it gives Northern trainers a nice prize to target closer to home. Looking through the field, your eye is immediately drawn to Son Of The Somme for Brian Ellison and Brian Hughes. He’s recent form figures read “2212” and the soft ground wouldn’t have suited on the most recent of these runs at Doncaster. The son of Yeats has only had seven career starts and is open to more improvement than most in here.

Looking towards the foot of the weights a chance can be given to Goodtime Badtimes for Sandy Thomson and promising young conditional Edward Austin, who claims a useful five pounds off 10-1. He’s gone up a total of eleven pounds for a win and two placings but comes here in good fettle, off a low weight.

In truth, there aren’t too many of these you could rule out, Demi Sang was once rated thirty-six pounds higher over fences but looks a shadow of that horse, while the top-weight Sheriff Garrett seldom runs a bad race but does have to give lots of weight away to in-form rivals.


written by Peter Keogh

13:50 Doncaster

Seven go to post for this six furlong listed event.

There’s a couple in here fit from the all-weather maybe hoping to capitalise on some ring rusty sprinters. Both Volatile Analyst and Mondammej have a bit to find, however this would be the best time to have a go.

If Mo Celita never wins another race, she owes her connections nothing. After being picked up from Ireland she won a seller on her first start for the yard, and did nothing but improve, gaining black type and a mark of 97.

Ayr Gold Cup winner Bielsa isn’t the easiest to predict, but would have a chance if in the mood.

Diligent Harry is an improving sprinter. He progressed on the all weather, and when transferred to the turf ran a fine race to be second in a Group 3. He was arguably over the top and bogged down on soft ground in his final race last season. He is the main danger to the selection Garrus.

Garrus quite simply is the best of these. He’s not getting any younger, but these sprinters can maintain their form for many seasons. It is his seasonal debut, but the yard can ready one, and this horse also has a very good record fresh.


written by Matt Polley

14:05 Kempton

Al Zaraqaan is two from two around the two lakes and must be considered. He was behind Fancy Man last time but ridden with more patience today should be a lot closer. However, he hasn’t been at his best on the All-Weather surface, which means he might well have a bit to find. Additionally, connections are not in the best form lately. He might fill the minor places today.

Fancy Man performed with credit behind Alenquer, in the Winter Derby, last time and has won two out of three times on the All-Weather. He needs to give 3lbs to this field today but it is not beyond the realms of possibility. You can see why he’s heading the market.

Felix has been running in some good races and this looks easier on paper. One from one over course and distance and represents a trainer and jockey in form. His fifth placed finish in the Jebel Hatta is stellar form. Today should be his day as he heads towards the half a million prize money.


written by Kieran McHugh

14:25 Doncaster

Seen as the precursor to the Lincoln later on the card the Spring Mile is often contested by a large field however unlike the normal cavalry charge, this years renewal only has a total of nine set to go to post.

Of the nine it’s safe to say that, according to the bookmakers, the pair of Empirestateofmind and General Lee are likely to be battling it out for victory. The current joint favourites had a fantastic three year old campaign and return to make their seasonal debut’s. Both have had room to progress and more than likely they’ll have done just that however with both having to tackle upwards of 150 days on the sidelines they’ve got a huge question mark over their fitness.

With bookies paying the first three past the post I think, from a punting point of view, it might be worth searching for a horse with a bit of each way value.

Star Shiled has been ultra-consistent over the winter and hasn’t finished outside of the first three in his last five starts. In-form but it’s safe to say when it comes to his turf exploits the handicapper has him well and truly in his grasps.

At a decent price Arthur’s Realm should benefit from his recent outing but this looks a marked step up in opposition. May have enough to sneak into the frame however.

All that being said I’m siding with a runner who finished third in this race last year. With twenty runners that day he’ll certainly appreciate a smaller field and with former champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa booked for the ride Mostawaa looks a solid each way bet.


written by Rory Paddock

14:40 Kempton

This is an intriguing stayers event in which several of the main protagonists hold solid claims for a good run.

Bandinelli is having his first race this year and did really well on his last run, stepping up to two miles for the first time. It looks from that run that he may have more to offer at this trip, given that he didn’t have an ideal run that day and he was still on top at the finish, a 5lb rise may not stop him.

Sir Chauvelin has been a good servant for Jim Goldie, however, he has a poor record at this trip on the flat and he would be passed over for this reason.

Moliwood could rank as the favourite’s biggest danger. He too looked like the step up to two miles suited him down to the ground last time out and he has only be raised 2lb from that run. It may just be though, that Bandinelli will get first run on him today and take this very valuable prize!


written by Tom Bates

15:00 Doncaster

Chindit is two from two at Doncaster, tends to go well fresh and brings some pretty smart form to the table having already won twice at Group level, so it’s perhaps little surprise to see him sit comfortably at the head of the market for this four-runner affair. A concern I would have is that his victories have all come over seven furlongs on fast ground – the ground today will likely ride a little slower and he has raced four times over a mile and is yet to record a victory over the trip so considering this and the price I would have to look elsewhere.

Roger Varian has trained the winner of this race three times in the last five years and runs Royal Champion who was a ready winner over a mile on debut before twice being beaten over long trips since. He looks to have plenty of potential and isn’t passed over lightly.

Boosala was a gutsy winner here at Doncaster in November, staying on well in soft ground over seven furlongs. Earlier career victories on good and good-to-soft show him to be versatile with regards to conditions and I expect him to be capable of staying the mile. The last four winners of this race have all been aged five so with stats in his favour and having form both at the course and in similar conditions he gets the vote.


written by Dean Kilbryde

15:15 Kelso

9 run is this Mares Queen Series Final. Although Cancan is due to run at Musselburgh today so I imagine wont run today so more than likely 8 which is good for each way purposes if your looking for something at a bigger price if they stand their ground.

Theatre Glory goes in as favourite has to be respected after winning 3 out of 4 races under rules she is top weight here and Nicky Henderson doesn't take many runners up Kelso during the season. He does have Nathan Brennan taking a valuable 7 pounds of to help ease the burden of weight.

Haseefah form is hard to gauge with her French form mostly ran of soft or heavy. lightly raced hurdle wise in the UK although her best result was on good ground this season at Market Rasen. The drying ground and her flat speed / experience will do her in good stead today.

Taragrace is going for a 3 timer today and the Brian Hughes & Donald McCain Partnership has to be respected as they have been relentless this season. Although would need a career best today.

My selection is another who would need a career best but has the course and distance form here at Kelso is Bella Bluesky. Won well last time out at Kelso on good ground. Both her wins have come on good or good to soft. This current dry spell across the country we are having will only help. Bella Bluesky is lowly weighted to go well here and if she gets into a good spot and keeps out of trouble may possibly have an each way squeak. Bit of a left field selection as such. But certainly, has each way chances at around 14/1 at time of writing. Some bookies may pay 4 places on this race


written by Luke Tucker

15:35 Doncaster

With the Cheltenham Festival now something of a fading memory, the Flat finally takes centre stage at Doncaster this weekend and the Lincoln Handicap signifies the start of the turf flat season proper.

Raced over the straight one mile and for horses aged four and upwards, most punters will be looking to unearth a pattern class type masquerading as a handicapper. Below we shall take a look into some of the more recent trends although upon first glance, this appears a fairly intriguing and open renewal.

Trainer Trends:

William Haggas has the best record of those with runners, saddling four winners to date and three since the turn the of century. John Gosden won last year's race, he has landed two renditions and Charlie Appleby has plundered this prize twice from the last five.

Betting Trends:

Perhaps rather surprisingly, only one betting favourite has won this race from the last ten. Within that time-frame, three horses returned at single figure odds whilst the other seven all returned at 12/1 or higher, the longest proved winner in that streak - 25/1.

Age and Draw Trends:

Given the nature of the race and the timing of it, one would probably expect four year-year-olds to have a decent record and they do, taking each of the last five running's. Five- and six-year- old's winning are hardly a rarity though you would have to go all the way back to 1998 and Hunters Of Brora for anything older. The draw often catches people out at Doncaster, eight of the last ten winners were drawn ten or higher, with stall three being responsible for the other two. Personally speaking, my preference would be for horses drawn somewhere in the middle as the action often seems to unfold there though there have been extremes, with stall one and twenty-two housing fairly recent winners.

Seventeen-year-old jockey, Harry Davies has hit the headlines in the build-up to this weekend. With just thirty-two rides to his name (Six winners) the former Pony racing star has been widely tipped to become champion apprentice and is another very promising rider to emerge from the yard of Andrew Balding. Visually strong and tidy, the decision of Charlie Appleby to book him for the plumb ride on the ante post favourite, Modern News, is highly encouraging and the seven pounds claim, could prove invaluable. Looking into the form of the Godolphin runner, there are similarities with Secret Brief who won this for the same outfit back in 2016, as both placed in potential prep races in Meydan. Today's extra furlong looks almost sure to suit and given the horse has won previously at the course, everything points to a big run.

Mujtaba represents William Haggas and he arrives here unbeaten in three career starts. Proven on decent and quite testing ground, this represents a serious step up the ladder though he is clearly a progressive type and he does travel well throughout his races. Potential negatives are rather thin on the ground though he is drawn in stall two and no horse as inexperienced as him has landed this in recent times.

Notre Belle Bete had shown fairly significant promise when trained in Ireland, since joining Andrew Balding he has twice scored on the artificial surfaces and he did extremely well to reel in a fair type at Wolverhampton, in a trial for this last time. Nudged up five pounds for that latest effort appears fair and this straight mile could well play to his strengths, however, there is a slight niggle that he will be better over further and as such, he is taken on.

Darkness is something of a lurker, he was good enough to win at Listed level at two and proved that to be no fluke when placing at Group level as a three-year-old. Quite what happened on his final couple of starts in France is anyone's guess though David O'Meara is well known for his exploits with similar purchases and these owners had the third in last year's race.

Brunch is a likable type and he finished an excellent second in this twelve months ago. Tough and consistent, he has gone well after breaks before and respect is handed down despite the fact his mark looks high enough.

Saleymm is hard to weigh up but is another eye-catching type, given his unexposed profile. Raced just the four times to date, he has twice won on the all-weather though what those victories add up to is questionable. From a yard already firing, there is every chance he will prove up to this level and respect is certainly afforded.

Ametist produced a fine effort when third in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket, he makes plenty of appeal at this trip and is another to seriously consider. Another Batt, Rogue Bear and What's The Story are selected others who could go well at big prices but a chance will be taken on Harry Davies finding the correct path on Modern News whilst Darkness is suggested as an each-way alternative.



written by Chris Connolly



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