Good morning all,
The turf flat got underway at Doncaster yesterday. It hardly comes back with a bang though. For some strange reason there isn’t a flat turf meeting until Musselburgh on Saturday.
The Lincoln handicap isn’t the ante post betting race it used to be. However, we still saw a good winner of the race at Doncaster on Saturday.
Inside today’s shorter main piece you can read my thoughts on Saturday’s action. Plus, I have a selection from this afternoon’s meeting at Stratford.
Top Rank Miler
Top Rank, trained by James Tate, won what looked a muddling run Listed Doncaster Mile. In the process the 5-year-old defied a 5lb penalty gained for winning a Group 3 at Haydock last September.
He made smooth headway down the stands side two furlongs out and only had to be kept up to work to hold off What’s The Story & 3/1 favourite Montatham. The favourite was a little keen in the early stages, as indeed was the winner, and probably needed the run more than the winner.
Bounce The Blues was in with a chance a furlong out before a lack of race fitness took its toll and she faded into fifth. There are Listed, possibly Group 3 races to be won with the filly when she returns to racing against her own sex.
Saturday’s good ground would probably be as quick as Top Rank wants. Given his physical development over the winter. He could yet be a Group 1 miler when he gets some juice in the ground.
Al Zaraqaan’s Got A Big Future
Like the Lincoln. The Roseberry Handicap isn’t the race it once was but it produced an impressive winner in Al Zaraqaan. The lightly raced 4-year-old strode clear of his rivals to register a decisive three length success.
The big strong son of Golden Horn had travelled powerfully through the race and once Richard Kingscote asked him to go for home, he soon put daylight between himself and the rest. He’s now 4-5, all four wins since his debut. A winner on good to firm last summer he’s got a big future ahead of him.
Runner-up Almighwar was no match for the winner who breezed past him a furlong out. A son of Oaks heroine Taghrooda. This was only his fifth career start and shapes like he needs further.
Haqeeqy's Classy Lincoln Win
Brentford Hope was a significant non-runner on account of the drying ground in the Lincoln. There looked to be plenty of pace on paper and so it proved. They went a good even gallop and the form of the race looks solid.
I thought my each-way race selection Brunch was coming to win the race when he took up the running a furlong out. However, he was no match for the John & Thady Gosden trained Haqeeqy who was clearly a very well handicapped horse.
The 4-year-old, ridden by promising 7lb apprentice Benoit De La Sayette, was looking for room two furlongs out but once out in the clear he produced a strong late run inside the final furlong to mow down Brunch, to win by a cosy 1 ½ lengths.
Doubts about the mile for the winner were firmly put to bed and given his high class turn of foot he looks well up to going to the next level.
Fourth home Danyah was to keen in the early stages but shaped like he can improve as a 4-year-old. Hopefully this run will have taken the freshness away. A strongly run mile suits though, as his gallops rather quickens.
Winning Lincoln jockey Benoit De La Sayette looks a tidy young jockey in the making. The 18-year-old is in the right spot with John Gosden to fulfill his potential.
Tomorrow’s column will include my first flat horses for the tracker.
It’s jumps action this afternoon from Fontwell, Stratford, Wincanton and all-weather action at Wolverhampton.
3:30 – Celtic Joy wasn’t running well when last seen in the autumn but he’s dropped back down to just 1lb above winning mark and has had a wind-op since his last run. The first time cheekpieces have been added today and the 8-year-old is well suited to good ground.
3:50 – Wishfull Dreaming runner-up in last season’s Grand Sefton at Aintree has dropped down to a handy mark. Not at his best on three starts in the autumn and returns from 166-day break today. Has gone well fresh in the past with two wins when returning from a 121+ day break and four of his six career starts have come on good ground. Provided the rain has stayed away he will do for me.
3:50 – Wishfull Dreaming – 8/1 @ Coral & Ladbrokes.
Good luck with your Monday bets.
John Burke is the tipster behind the long standing Victor Value service you can join him here – https://victorvalue.uk