There was significant rain forecast to hit both Doncaster and Newbury on Friday and, at the time of writing, it is not clear what the state of the ground will be at both venues although Saturday is now due to be dry.
My two against the field in the Lincoln are Brentford Hope and King Ottokar (3.10) with marginal preference for the Charlie Fellowes-trained 5-y-old who is fitted with first-time cheekpieces and has a new partner in Ben Curtis this afternoon. The ew selection -10s with William Hill – is drawn low, which has been a negative in recent years, and needs luck in running given he is often held up out the back, but I am sure there is a big race to be won with him this term. He met trouble in running when a staying on fifth over C&D from a 3lbs higher mark back in September. One note of caution – there is little guaranteed pace in the race, and he would not want the race to be tactical.
Brentford Hope is drawn next to the selection in three and is another confirmed hold up performer. The head waiter Jamie Spencer will try and swoop fast and late and do note 4-y-olds have won the last four renewals of the first leg of the spring double. Brentford Hope is 9/1 with BetVictor.
The 10f Maiden is always a race that throws up future winners and I am looking forward to the racecourse debut of Charlie Appleby’s Khaiz who is a full brother to the mighty Ghaiyyath. The latter was a beaten favourite on his racecourse debut here and I wonder if the invaluable experience of Dhushan (4.20) will prove decisive.
The selection finished runner up at Goodwood over a mile back in September when he travelled like the best horse in the race but just failed to get up. Today’s additional couple of furlongs will certainly help the William Haggas’ trained colt who holds an entry in the Derby.
There is a terrific jumps card at Newbury and Good Ball (2.50) can take the novices handicap hurdle sponsored by BetVictor. The juvenile is likely to go chasing sooner rather than later but he ran a very good race when runner up over C&D behind a good yardstick in Gowel Road last time. The winner did little for the form at Cheltenham earlier in the month, but that was not his running and the 4-y-olds get a valuable 8lbs weight-for-age allowance from their elders.
I have long thought Rose Of Arcadia (3.25) was an ideal type for the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, and I cannot desert her now even though there remain major concerns over the wellbeing of the Colin Tizzard stable. The selection beat a dual subsequent winner when scoring over 2m 5f at Wincanton last time and everything looks tailormade for a big run – save the form of the yard.
It is Dubai World Cup night and I hope to see Khaadem (1.30) land the Group 1 6f sprint for Charlie Hills in the famous blue and white colours of Hamdan Al Maktoum who sadly passed away this week. The 5-y-o entire was last seen finishing fourth in the July Cup behind Oxted but he will enjoy the forecast fast ground and has a decent draw in stall nine. Equilateral looks sure to run a big race having scored twice at the Carnival already, but both those successes were over the minimum trip and he is not quite as effective over the additional furlong.