Betting expert Steven Dowler returns to take on the Boosted £5,000 Place 6 at Doncaster on Saturday. Check out his Doncaster tips.
Doncaster betting tips
12.55 – Visit attheraces.com Handicap Hurdle – 2m3f
This is a super tough handicap to get the action off and running, so it might pay to have a few runners on side.
SUNSET WEST was an eye-catching third on debut behind a couple of above-average individuals who are now rated 131 and 135, respectively. He then looked set to collect next time out at Kelso until falling two out and then chased home subsequent winner Enqarde at Newcastle and, that horse, gives a pretty clear indication that Sunset West is well treated.
An interesting addition to the chances of bottom-weight EN COULEUR is seeing the in-form Sean Quinlan maintaining the partnership with the four-year-old. He has run two solid races in this sphere and looks competitive on form, while MERCURIO ROCK rates a fascinating contender switching to handicaps and looks best of the rest.
Selections: SUNSET WEST, EN COULEUR, MERCUTIO ROCK
13.30 – Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Lightning Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) – 2m
The Grade-2 Lightning Novices’ Chase hasn’t attracted a big field but it certainly is a fascinating line-up.
Like most people, I can’t see past SHISHKIN who wasted little time in establishing himself as a useful novice hurdler last term, which culminated with victory in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in March. He is currently the highest-rated novice chaser (Timeform)
on the back of two bloodless victories at Kempton and, with even more to come, the seven-year-old’s impossible to oppose on these terms. Nicky Henderson’s star performer can use this as a stepping stone towards much bigger targets awaiting, particularly the Sporting Life Arkle in March.
14.05 – Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 2) – 2m
There are reasons to take on the top-three in the market and, at a much bigger price, I’m drawn to the claims of IRISH ROE.
She warmed up for this with a good second in a jumpers’ bumper at Newcastle and has an outstanding record over C&D reading 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 2 and 2. She was a two-length second in this race last year to Lady Buttons and was one place in front of market leader Floressa when getting 2Ib from that rival. Essentially, she gets 4Ib this year, so she has every chance of confirming the form. Finally, Irish Roe has run in this race three times in total, finishing second twice and third on the other occasion. With that being said, she looks great each-way value.
Incidentally, I also like another big-priced runner, RAYNA’S WORLD. She was a fast-finishing third in the Dawn Run at the Cheltenham Festival and has run well in defeat the last twice. This demands a career-best, but she may be equal to the task with improvement to come.
Selections: IRISH ROE, RAYNA’S WORLD
14.40 – Albert Bartlett River Don Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) – 3m
ASK A HONEYBEE looks the most glaring each-way proposition in this Grade-2. He beat Ashdown Lad on hurdles bow when the runner-up had the benefit of hurdles experience. He was then just touched off by Bobhopeornohope next time when giving the winner 5Ib, but meets that same rival off level-weights here, so he has every chance of reversing the form. He ran a nice again to finish third in a Grade-Two at Cheltenham last time and looks open to further improvement.
PATS FANCY heads the list of dangers and looks poised to run well again having finished in front of the main selection last time out.
Selections: ASK A HONEYBEE, PATS FANCY
15.15 – Sky Bet Handicap Chase (Listed) – 2m7f
A wide-open renewal of the Sky Bet Chase with several in with chances.
CANELO has won two of his last three races and was second to market rival Cap Du Nord at Newbury when beaten only four lengths. He was giving the winner 16Ib that day and only has to give him 9Ib today.
Alan King has an excellent record in the race having won it back-to-back in 2016 and 2017, so he knows what it takes to win this event. This has clearly been this eight-year-old’s target all season and is a big player dropping down in grade since winning the Grade-3 Rowland Meyrick Chase last time out.
Of the outsiders, GUITAR PETE was a high-class chaser in his prime and ran well at Wetherby two starts ago. He was making swift headway and going strongly until falling two out when last seen. The handicapper has left his mark unchanged and, providing that fall hasn’t left a mark, he’s overpriced near the bottom of the weights.
Selections: CANELO, GUITAR PETE
I like the claims of the bottom-weight CORAL who has run to a decent standard since switching to this yard. He’s been dropped 5Ib for finishing an excellent fourth last time out and the soft ground should be right up his street.
Henry Oliver’s AGAMEMMON has been well-held in both starts this term, but is only 1Ib higher than when last successful. Interestingly, he was third in this race twelve months ago from a mark of 120 carrying top-weight but is 8Ib lower here carrying 11Ib less. While the fact that he’s comparatively exposed, there are enough positives to suggest he can win this.
WHO’S IN THE BOX is another solid candidate to be considered. He improved significantly to beat a subsequent winner at Market Rasen and, on these terms being a strong stayer, he has every chance of following-up.
Selections: CORAL, AGAMEMMON, WHO’S IN THE BOX
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