Flat racing (turf) re-starts today with the traditional Doncaster meeting, featuring the 32Red Lincoln Handicap at 3.35.
Ryan Moore had the bookmakers running for cover last year when winning the first three races on the card and his mount in the ‘big ‘un’, Fire Brigade, has been the subject of sustained support in the run up to the race. As an improving 4-y-o the profile looks right, but, while respect for its chances is given, the price of 6-1 owes quite a bit to the jockey booking and we are content to look elsewhere.
Addeybb has, if anything, a better profile, not least because it boasts a beating of Fire Brigade last term and meets it today off 2lb more favourable terms. With Mr Haggas having trained three winners of this race in recent times, we recommend an each way bet at 9-2.
In the hope that a less fashionable trainer can produce one on the day, we also suggest an each way investment on Henry Spiller’s 6-y-o Leader Writer at 11-1. A lightly raced improver, LW ran an excellent warm-up on the AW recently and if Fran Berry is on a going day (well, we can hope) and a high draw (21) is advantageous, this could go close.
To complete the Lincoln portfolio we put up Via Via at an artisan 33-1. James Tate’s entire excelled himself last season and could be a late developer, well up to running a huge race under Luke Morris.
The Unibet Doncaster Mile Stakes at 3.00 has just 6 runners and looks at the mercy of the favourite Zabeel Prince. Just 5 runs in its life for this 5-y-o, but it won three in a row last season and attained a mark of 106. Best when fresh and with the King of Doncaster Andrea Atzeni up top, this must be backed at 11-8.
Right, enough of the Flat – let’s go jumping, shall we?
Newbury is the main meeting and features the EBF & TBA Mares’ “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle Finale at 3.15, a highly competitive affair with 16 runners.
We go two against the field with each way bets recommended on Oscar Rose at 6-1 and Petticoat Tails at 7-1.
The former has a cracking chance on the book if all goes well and the latter has been aimed at this race by Sir Greatrex since we don’t know when.
Finally, we can’t let the day go by without putting up Shanroe Santos in the Insure With Be Wiser Handicap Chase at 2.05 to atone for its really unlucky ‘unseat’ when threatening to run away with a Sandown handicap last time out. Same mark today and, as the trainer says, didn’t have a race two weeks ago, so, hopefully, compensation awaits at a pleasing 6-1 (each way).
Addeybb 3.35 Doncaster e/w @ 9-2 (6 places)
Leader Writer 3.35 Doncaster e/w @ 11-1 (6 places)
Via Via 3.35 Doncaster e/w @ 33-1 (6 places)
Zabeel Prince 3.00 Doncaster win @ 11-8
Oscar Rose 3.15 Newbury e/w @ 6-1
Petticoat Tails 3.15 Newbury e/w @ 7-1
Shanroe Santos 2.05 Newbury e/w @ 6-1