The ground was described as good to firm at noon on Monday ahead of today’s card at Doncaster although there was the prospect of further showers in south Yorkshire.
In the 6f sprint Wentworth Falls (2.00) looked to be crying out for a return to further when runner up at Ayr over the minimum trip last week. The grey was only beaten a length and a half in last year’s Portland Handicap from a 1lb higher mark and Connor Beasley takes over in the saddle. Beasley has never won on the eight-year-old but finished runner up twice on the sprinter from higher marks last term. The each way selection is 4/1 – 4 places – with Boylesports and I will be disappointed if he doesnt trouble the judge.
There are some beautifully bred inexperienced horses in the 2 divisions of the Novice Stakes. In the first division Thumur (3.30) went into many notebooks when third at Kempton on debut when slowly away and failing to get a run until the first two had flown. That was over a mile and today’s step up to 10f should suit given he is by Arc winner Golden Horn, The selection is a best priced 7/2 with bet365 and he looks sure to run a big race.
In the absence of Roberto Escobarr, Godolphin’s First Winter and the Haydock eyecatcher Mathew Flinders are the main dangers in a cracking race.
In the second division Semser (4.00) looks sure to appreciate the step up to 10f having finished second at Kempton on debut over a mile. The winner of that contest Raatea looked an unlucky loser in a warm handicap at Newmarket over the weekend from a mark in the mid-80s and Semser is taken to go one better. The early 6/4 went on Monday afternoon and the selection is, at the time of writing, a best priced 6/5 with Boylesports.
Charlie Appleby’s Crown State finished a close third behind two well above average sorts at Chelmsford over 7f on debut and he represents a big danger with the yard in such good form, after a disappointing Royal Ascot, over the weekend.
Revolver (5.05) has won his last couple of starts and he looked well ahead of the handicap when easing clear at Redcar over 1m 6f earlier in the month from an 8lbs lower mark. He looked a thorough stayer when getting up close home at Pontefract previously although that form was let down by the runner up My Girl Maggie at Haydock last week. The Evens with William Hill looked too big and he has been trimmed to a best priced 4/6 with Boylesports.
At Musselburgh Iain Jardine has had a slow start to the new campaign, but he did have a welcome winner at Hamilton over the weekend and I feel that Colour Contrast (1.15) looks over priced at 14/1 with Unibet for the 7f Handicap. The ew selection won first time out over C&D in May last year and is only 3lbs higher than scoring here again later in the month. His form tailed off after a good start, but first time out might be the time to catch him although he will need luck in running from his draw in stall one.
In the finale at Chepstow I think Bailarico (9.00) ran a better race than the finishing position would suggest when going for home fully half a mile out over today’s C&D just over a fortnight ago. The handicapper has dropped the stayer by another 3lbs for that effort and he is back down to his last winning mark. The each way selection’s course record reads 14 and 8/1 looks a fair price if jockey Thomas Greatrex hangs on to his mount for a bit longer than was the case here earlier in the month.