A tremendous days racing over both codes, but we begin our preview at Doncaster where conditions were described as a mix of good and good to soft with a dry day forecast.
There is a terrific 2m handicap chase, and the handicapper has seen fit to drop Moonlighter (1.15) 10lbs for three starts so far this season and he has an excellent each way chance with Tom Scudamore back in the saddle. The pair were beaten a neck in the 2020 Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter by subsequent Grade 1 winner Greaneteen on good ground despite jumping badly out to his left.
I don’t think he has run as badly as his figures would suggest so far this term and I expect Scudamore to make plenty of use of his mount. Trainer Nick Williams has not got a large string, but his runners have been pulling up few trees of late, but I do think Moonlighter is back down to an attractive mark and he gets the ew vote at 6s with William Hill.
Earlier i the card I’m looking forward to the hurdles debut of Sam Thomas’s dual winning Bumper horse Skytastic (12.45) who should appreciate this 2m 3f test on decent ground. His Bumper successes came at Newbury and here at Doncaster and both those races have thrown up plenty of winners over timber. The selection is 5/4 from 6/4.
One would not imagine fitness would be an issue and the hope is that he has too much pace for Godrevy Point who may well have won here when last seen back in November. He sets a good, but not insurmountable, standard and todays slight drop back in trip is not guaranteed to suit.
Over to Huntingdon and the form of Captain Broomfield’s (12.25) second on heavy ground at Haydock to Donald McCain’s Jungle Jack – gave the runner up 7lbs – was let down when the third bombed out at Exeter next time but that run might have come too soon and the winner is an accident waiting to happen off a mark of 123 in a handicap.
The selection – 11/10 with 10Bet – is a half-brother to Henry De Bromhead’s talented Captain Guinness – last seen finishing third in the Tingle Creek last month – and cost connections £65,000 when bough at the sales in November having won a point in his native Ireland earlier in the month. He got loose before the start of the race on his first start over timber but ran very well and he promises to be well served by today’s forecast good to soft ground.
I think the near 2m 4f handicap hurdle is a stronger contest to the one that Legal Rights has been trousering in recent weeks and my two against the field are Let’s Have Another and Sherborne (2.00) with preference for the latter who returns from a two-month lay-off having landed a gamble at Lingfield over the minimum trip. The ew selection – 9/2 with Boylesports – is a half-brother to the Scottish National winner Joe Farrell so one would hope today’s additional furlong will suit.
Let’s Have Another is “another” stepping up in distance and was doing all his best work late on at Leicester over the minimum trip when runner up to Sholokjack last time. Do note the winner was due to run in the 3.15 at Leicester on Thursday. A market move would be worth noting although the fitful form of the Olly Murphy camp is a slight concern.
The listed 1m 6f contest at Meydan is a terrific race and I hope William Buick has picked the right Charlie Appleby runner in Kemari (3.10) over stablemate Siskany. The selection – 7/4 with Boylesports – landed the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot back in June and, although he failed to build on that run in three subsequent starts, he looks sure to run a big race back on a decent surface.
Frankie Dettori has Covid and is unable to take the mount on last year’s winner Dubai Future who wears the first colours of Godolphin, but he must give 5lbs to the Appleby pair and that might be a bridge too far.