Doncaster Racecourse

At the time of writing Thursday’s forecast rain has yet to hit Doncaster and the ground remains on the fast side of good. That would be too firm for Trueshan to take his chance in today’s feature race the Doncaster Cup although I get the impression connections would allow him to let him take his chance on good ground even giving 2lbs away to market leader Stradivarius.

The listed 7f Flying Scotsman Stakes for juveniles is a belter. Noble Truth heads the market but must learn to settle if he is to fulfil his potential. He also tends to hang out to his left and his draw in stall one is considered a negative.

The imposing Ribhi could be anything having ran out a ready winner at Salisbury on debut defying odds of 20/1. Marcus Tregoning no longer gets first dibs on the Shadwell yearlings, but he can still train with the best of his peers, and he could well have another top-notcher through his hands courtesy of this son of Dark Angel.

The each way vote however goes to Razzle Dazzle (1.40) who ran a race full of promise when runner up on debut and went one better when making all back on the July course last month. The time wasn’t anything special, but he jinked right at the start and still made most in the manner of a good colt. The selection – 11/2 with MansionBet – has entries in all the top end of season contests and must go close if he is to take up any of those engagements.

Asjad (3.45) lost his unbeaten record when going down by a head at Ffos Las in a three-runner race last time, but I thought that was a good effort and he can reverse the form with the winner Desert Doctor on 2lb better terms.

The ew selection – 9/2 with 10Bet 4 places – has only had three career starts and today’s additional half-furlong should suit Roger Varian’s gelding. Note at the time of writing it is unclear if Jim Crowley will be in the saddle having been unseated from the ill-fated Jadhlaan here on Wednesday. He took Thursday off but was hopeful of making it back for Ribhi and Asjad on Friday.   

Kettle Hill (2.30) has just lost out to Garden Oasis on his last couple of starts and is due to go up by 5lbs in the handicap from tomorrow but can run from his old mark today. Tom Marquand would have had a couple of good chances at Doncaster but has decided to ride at Sandown. A tip in itself?

This stiff mile should suit the selection – 9/4 with William Hill – although his draw in stall eight is a negative as is the lack of guaranteed pace in the race. The hope is that Huddleton Mac and/or Carolus Magnus ensure a decent test but that is not certain and muddies the water somewhat.

At Chester I hope to see Nebulosa (3.25) break on terms from what looks a good draw in stall two in the 7f handicap. The filly was taken out of a race on account of the fast ground at Ascot last weekend but todays underfoot conditions should be ideal. David Probert takes over in the plate – regular jockey Oisin Murphy at Doncaster – for the first time since she finished third to 1000 Guineas runner up Saffron Beach as a juvenile.

Do note this is another race with little or no pace in the race although there will be a dash to the opening bend. Probert will be aware that he cannot afford a tardy start around these tight turns, but I believe she is well handicapped at present. There is 11/2 available at the time of posting.

Dr Marwan Koukash owns half the field in the six-runner handicap over an extended 12f, but I am sweet on the chance of Buriram (4.30) who drops back in trip at a track where he has a course record of 212. Sean Levey was in the plate here when Richard Hannon’s 5-y-old was second here on soft ground over 14f and I wonder whether he will dictate his own pace given this is another contest which appears devoid of confirmed frontrunners. There is significant rain forecast overnight and every drop will help. The selection has been put in a best price of 3/1.

Over to Ballinrobe and I appreciate Erins Benefit (4.25) is a “cliff horse” of mine but she was given a poor ride over a trip too far here last month and I must give her one last chance dropped back in distance by half a mile.

John Kiely has decided to claim 7lbs with conditional Jack Foley taking over in the saddle. The jockey has only one career win to his name, but I do feel Erins Benefit will appreciate this intermediate 2m 2f trip. There is 5/2 available first thing on Thursday evening with the big danger Cottie heading the market at 2/1.  

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