1.10pm – British EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap (1m4f)
Sir Michael Stoute holds all the aces here with the first two in the betting. They deserve to be there and their prices look about right, so it’s no bet from me.
1.40pm – bet365 Mallard Handicap (1m6f)
Out of the eight runners, I think only two of them appear as though they could be well-handicapped. Alfaatik is the obvious one, with a good comeback win last time, he’s unexposed. But he’s a bit of a nutter and who knows if he’ll mess around or not. Graeme McPherson has done a great job with High Wells since he moved stables. A couple of wins from four starts for his new handler, he seems to still be going the right way. This is tougher than Kempton last time, but he won that easily. In a race where his rivals don’t appear to have much in hand, he looks worth a chance.
2.10pm – bet365 Handicap (6f)
This looks a pretty good race, with a few looking on a fair mark. I’m siding with Musicality for Roger Varian. He’s only had four starts, winning two of them and finishing second in the others. Obviously not short of speed as he’s won over 5f and 6f, but he’s a staying sprinter, if that makes any sense. He won’t come there swinging on the bridle, but he finishes off the race strongly. He flew home in the final half furlong at Newmarket last time and that’s why I think an extra half furlong today is definitely going to see him improve a bit. Open to more progress with the extra distance and the fact he’s only had four starts – he’s good enough for me.
2.40pm – Bombardier Flying Childers Stakes (Group 2) (5f)
Another cracking race – some really nice youngsters in here. Mohawk King travelled well in the Gimcrack over 6f last time and a drop to 5f may well help him here. But the fillies, receiving the weight, could be tough to beat. Sacred lost out to Miss Amulet over 6f last time, but has previously finished second in the Queen Mary over 5f so this trip won’t be a problem.
However, Frenetic was also second to Miss Amulet this season and I’m struggling to see why she is 11/2 and Sacred is 11/8. An out and out speedster, Frenetic only has one way of doing things and that’s from the front. I like William Buick on the front end, the drying ground will be a help and she’s tough. It’s a good race, but she’ll give it her all and this is by far the biggest price she’s been in her career.
3.15pm – bet365 Doncaster Cup Stakes (Group 2) (2m2f)
This is a very tricky race to assess, as there is no pace on whatsoever. Revolver is rapidly improving, but this is a giant leap in class. Spanish Mission and Eagles By Day are the best horses in the race, but not the most consistent.
If I was to take a stab at who could make the running, at what could be a very sedate pace, I’d say it’ll be Frankie Dettori on Red Verdon. He’s a Group 2 winner this season and loves it at Doncaster, with form figures of 2211 on Town Moor. This is the furthest he’s tackled with regards to trip, but he stays well enough to suggest it’ll be fine. I’m hoping Frankie will dictate matters from the front.
3.45pm – bet365 Flying Scotsman Stakes (Listed Race) (7f)
Spycatcher comfortably sets the standard with his second in the Acomb last month. But One Ruler has been very popular in the betting as his Sandown form has worked out nicely. He’s too short now though. Roger Varian won this last year with Molatham, so I’m backing him to do so again.
Laneqash was backed off the boards into 6/4 on debut, and duly obliged. He did so with the minimum of fuss, settling behind the leaders then kicking clear when Jim Crowley asked him. I was impressed with the professionalism he showed, considering it was his first racecourse appearance. He gets my tentative vote to show he can cut it at this level.
4.15pm – Gary Reid Memorial Maiden Stakes (7f)
Only two of these have experience and with some nicely bred newcomers in here, this could go to any of them. So another no bet race to end the day.