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Saturday Selections

Good morning all,

And what a lovely morning it is, after Bollin Joan held on gamely for us yesterday. A 25-1 winner (and some of you got bigger, nicely done) to kick the weekend off with. It would be nice if I could follow that up with another, wouldn't it? Or is that being greedy?

Anyway, it'll be Doncaster for me tonight and there's a couple of selections from there, along with a few others dotted around the UK today.

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6.35 Doncaster

I suspect we've not seen anywhere near the best of Star Zinc yet and his handicap debut offers him a chance to improve.

He ran well in a couple of novice/maidens that have worked out fine last year and needed his comeback run at Kempton last month.The way he stayed on nicely after it was all over suggests this 7f trip should be ideal at present, and I do like the Charlie Fellowes handicap debutant angle – he's 2-8 with them at Doncaster over the past five years.

In the hope Jamie doesn't overdo the waiting tactics, he's the pick for this.

8.40 Doncaster

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Roundhay Park won this from a 2lb higher mark last year and after a luckless run at Chester last time, is a bigger price than perhaps he ought to be on overall form.

He needs a well-run race but that looks nailed-on, with both Melly's Flyer and Ben Madcui only knowing one way, and that's to go hard, so that shouldn't be an issue. At Chester last time, wherever he went the gaps closed, and the run is best forgotten. At 14-1 tonight I'd be willing to chance it all drops right.

2.10 Newbury

An open looking race, but the Crisfords Outbox has his ideal conditions, namely 12f on good ground, a small field to dominate, and ran well enough at Newmarket last time out to think he’s in form. His two starts at Newbury have seen him finish first and third, and I wouldn't have him as the rank outsider here.

3.00 Newmarket 

I was with Shine So Bright when he scored here at Newmarket on his seasonal debut, and whilst you can make an easy enough case for him again today, much of the reason for being with him last time was how well he goes when fresh. 

So with that, I’ll leave him today and instead try and catch another one fresh, that being Bullace, who won easily here on his seasonal debut last year and looked in for a good season. Things didn’t quite work out as expected, but he was highly tried (had a crack at the St James Palace) and soft ground might well have been against him a couple of times too, so although it was far from a write-off, neither was it the success story that might have been anticipated. 

However, conditions look ideal for him today and he clearly goes well fresh, so this looks a good time to catch him.

5.50 Uttoxeter

The interesting one here is Time Leader, who finally gets the step up in trip he’s been crying out for, and a pair of cheekpieces to boot, often a sign of some intent from Tom Lacey.

A winner over Carlisle’s testing 2m4f last November, his last three starts have all been at two miles and on all three occasions he’s looked outpaced at various times. It was a very disappointing effort at Ffos Las last time, if the truth be told, but the trainer recognized a step up in trip was needed in the stewards report, and so we see him over 2m6½f today.

Tom Lacey is reasonably sparing with the cheekpieces but he’s 5-13 with them when applied for the first time in the past couple of years, so there’s another reason to think he should go better today. The yard continue in great form, with four winners over the past fortnight, and he looks a play today.

4.35 Bangor

Rare I write a bumper up, but I was at Uttoxeter to watch Touchy Feely run last time out and whilst there’s no doubting she was one of the paddock picks (quite striking on looks), she drifted like a barge near the off, going from odds-on to 11-8 (and bigger than 7-4 on the exchanges) and she was duly well beaten, looking a little devoid of pace, although I’ll grant you there were still signs of greenness too.

The easy, and indeed impressive, winner that day was Blue Beach, trained by Mel Rowley and she’s shown over the past 12 months that she knows what it takes to win a bumper. She runs Houston Calling here, a well-bred sort, and given you’d think she would have a pretty good handle on the form from Uttoxeter, that makes her of interest here.

Today's selection – Time Leader 5.50 Uttoxeter

Good luck with all your bets today,

David.

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