Doncaster Preview
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Doncaster Preview

Doncaster complete their two-day Sky Bet Chase meeting on Saturday with a quality offering at Town Moor. Alongside the feature race at 3.20pm, they've got preceding Grade 2s via the Yorkshire Rose Mares' Hurdle and River Don Novices' Hurdle. Racing at Doncaster is from 12.25pm-3.55pm on Saturday afternoon and the Racing Post previews all the action at the Yorkshire venue.


12.25 - Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Handicap Hurdle (2m3½f)

One of the bigger fields of the afternoon in this opening contest. Jay Jay Reilly could improve switched into a handicap and is noted, while last month's 2m course winner Gala De Corton is low-mileage and retains potential for better. Ted's Friend couldn't give away a penalty in a novice event last time but is another with scope entering handicaps.

Inishbiggle is the other last-time-out C&D scorer and could well improve again but a chance is handed to CREATIVE CONTROL in this tough opener for punters.

He won at Sedgefield in November and followed up over this C&D a few weeks later. Back at the former venue on Boxing Day he was third on soft ground when shipping weight to his rivals. Better ground today should suit and Peter Kavanagh's 7lb claim also helps.

Selection: Creative Control

Next Best: Inishbiggle

1.00 - Sky Bet Extra Places Every Day Handicap Chase (3m)

A fair percentage of these runners have clouds over them. Tide Times is 0-3 over fences but Ian Williams' charge has run well in two of those and had an excuse in between times as Charlie Todd lost his irons at Newbury in December and had to pull up. With a first-time tongue-tie added, they are players from an unchanged mark.

WIGGLESWORTH is narrowly preferred. A Worcester winner over 2m7f, he has run well at times in three starts since without adding to the tally. This track should suit him, as should the slight drop in trip, and he's now back on his winning mark.

Dr Richard Newland has called on the services of Cillin Leonard, claiming 5lb, and this talented rider could make plenty of difference.

Selection: Wigglesworth

Next Best: Tide Times

1.35 - Watch Off The Fence On Lightning Novices' Chase (Grade 2, 2m½f)

THIRD TIME LUCKI had his limitations exposed to an extent at Sandown in the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices' Chase in December. He jumped exuberantly well in front for Harry Skelton but he was a little too free in his ways and that cost him at the end.

Still, it's not as if that was a terrible effort. Winner Edwardstone landed the Wayward Lad at Kempton over Christmas in good style, while runner-up War Lord took a decent post at Lingfield's Winter Million Festival last weekend.

Minella Drama (fourth at Sandown) also bagged a Grade 2 at Haydock this month. All is far from lost therefore for Third Time Lucki and his class should see him successfully conceding 5lb to this duo.

Do Your Job was a faller in that Henry VIII and has since chased home Edwardstone at Kempton (beaten 10-lengths, getting 5lb). On paper he needs to find more to defeat the Skelton horse.

For Pleasure was beaten 15-lenghs by Edwardstone at Warwick in November (level weights) and put away Nassalam by a distance since at Plumpton. He does like to lead, however, and contesting it with Third Time Lucki here could be a cut-throat move.

Selection: Third Time Lucki

Next Best: Do Your Job

2.10 - Sky Bet Yorkshire Rose Mares' Hurdle (Grade 2, 2m½f)

Miranda won this in very stylish fashion last year (soft) and returns for champion trainer Paul Nicholls having obliged last month at Ludlow on second start of the current season (previous second to Molly Ollys Wishes also strong form). She's the one to beat again.

Western Victory downed tools very quickly at Ascot last weekend on first start for Emma Lavelle in a stayers' event won by the aforementioned Molly Ollys Wishes.

This is a minor drop in class and a major drop in trip. She's a Listed winner in Ireland at this sort of distance but that effort last weekend is a worry as she went miles clear early on and undermined her chance by racing too freely.

Dazzling Glory and Miss Heritage have to improve considerably to win, so ANNA BUNINA is given a chance to shine for John McConnell, who does well with UK raiders.

His mare was well fended off in a Musselburgh handicap on New Year's Day but Tommy's Oscar was a class apart in that race and it was her first run since April. That previous run saw her finishing second in the Scottish Champion Hurdle (Grade 2 handicap) and if she does indeed come on for that comeback four weeks ago, James Bowen's mount is a major player.

Selection: Anna Bunina

Next Best: Miranda

2.45 - Albert Bartlett River Don Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2, 3m½f)

Unanswered Prayers is the form pick. He has finished in front three times in four starts so far over timber this season - though he did surrender a Warwick win back in November in the stewards' room. After that he was second to next-time-out Grade 1 winner Stage Star at Newbury and the step up to 2m5½f (soft) at Wincanton since brought further improvement.

He should stay this new trip and has his claims, but they aren't insurmountable.

Not At Present has won his last three for Ben Pauling and boasts hurdles figures of 212111 since August. His stamina is assured and he acts on any ground. First-time blinkers go on now and Luca Morgan's partner is a contender.

The Real Whacker could have more to give after his win at Carlisle last time, while Mahler Mission won a maiden this month and takes a quick rise in class for Irish trainer John McConnell. Bridge North also scored in maiden company this month and has more to do.

COOLBANE BOY was starting to look exposed in Ireland but a move to Sandy Thomson has quickly resulted in progress. He won over this sort of trip at Musselburgh on New Year's Day, eased down after dismissing the challenge of Cooldine Bog with the pair clear. He's got a chance to impress again in this deeper race.

Selection: Coolbane Boy

Next Best: Not At Present

3.20 - Sky Bet Handicap Chase (Listed, 3m)

The feature at Donny is a wide-open affair. Fusil Raffles won the Grade 2 Charlie Hall earlier in the season up at Wetherby in fortunate enough circumstances. A drop in trip since didn't aid him and he should go well back at this distance for Nicky Henderson.

The likes of Hill Sixteen, Kapcorse, Canelo and Cap Du Nord (bottom-weight here) are all capable if putting their best feet forward.

Debece only had one run last spring after moving to Dan Skelton but he was second at Sandown over this trip on soft ground. He's undergone a wind op since and is on a very workable mark based on his best form. He may be 11 now, but he could be set for a big run.

STORM CONROL likes nothing more than getting on with things in front and he returned to winning ways at Newbury this month under this 10lb claiming rider with a typically determined showing.

Kerry Lee's charge has backed up winning efforts previously in his career and he's still handicapped to have a good say in this. At an each-way price, he's unlikely to be shifted from the front too easily.

Selection: Storm Control

Next Best: Debece

3.55 - Watch Off The Fence On Open NH Flat Race (2m½f)

Prairie Wolf has a penalty for winning at Kelso in May and was held readily on comeback at Carlisle, so he's got to improve.

Bold Reaction won an Irish point-to-point in October (second attempt) and is now with Nicky Henderson. The Seven Barrows supremo has his team in superb order and a strong showing is very likely. Vibes in the betting will be crucial.

OUR MARTY was runner-up on debut over 1m5f in a Junior Bumper here in November having at one stage looked as though he might get detached at the rear of the field. The winner had the benefit of a run and has again performed well in defeat since.

Lucinda Russell's 4YO gets an allowance from the older horses here and rider Alan Doyle boosts that to the tune of another 7lb. Over this longer trip, they are fancied to mount a serious challenge with that initial experience in November to stand to the gelding.

Selection: Our Marty

Next Best: Bold Reaction




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