The loss of Cheltenham‘s trial fixture has taken much of the gloss off today’s televised action, but fortunately the meeting at Doncaster has survived the elements and provides four competitive races for our delectation and delight.

The Lightning Novices Chase at 1.30 opens the proceedings, with Shishkin a 1-5 poke to continue its rise to the top. Usually we would be leaving this race alone but instead we re going to advise an each way bet on Cheddleton at 10-1.

Jennie Candlish‘s 6-y-o is a big, big improver since fences were put in front of it and, in receipt of a handy 5lbs from the hot fav, may well make a race of it. At worst, Cheddleton should take care of the other three runners and, provided you don’t try to get five grand each way on it, our bookmaker friends should be accommodating.

The Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle at 2.05 has three co-favourites at around 9-4 and Nicky Henderson saddles two of them. With one carrying a penalty and the other resorting to all the furniture, we will go for the other one, Miranda.

Paul Nicholls‘ 6-y-o finished a close fourth in a handicap against the boys off 143 last time out and a repeat performance may be good enough.

At 2.40 the Albert Bartlett River Don Novices’ Hurdle takes place with a field of 12 due to pitch up.

In this we like the look of Mr Henderson‘s Emir Sacree at 15-2.

First run for nearly two years and stable debut saw this 7-y-o make a winning start in an Ascot handicap off a mark of 125, a run that established it in the ‘could be anything’ category. With any amount of improvement possible, this looks a sound each way proposition.

Highlight on the Donny card is the Sky Bet Handicap Chase which currently has eleven due to take part.

Again, this looks wide open and we will suggest a ‘dutch’, with each way bets on One For The Team (6-1) and Canelo (13-2).

The former is a potentially improving Novice while the latter is well nigh guaranteed to run up to its best.

By dint of deft prestidigitation, ITV’s cameras have miraculously appeared at Leafy for three races and it is their hard luck that small fields in the first two have meant short priced favourites. The jollies may well win, but, at the prices, we don’t want to get involved.

The third race at 3.30, the Bombardier Amber Beer Handicap has caught our attention, however, as we think Masked Identity is well worth a modest each way investment at 11-2.

And there you have it.


Cheddleton 1.30 Doncaster 1.5pts e/w @ 10-1 (2 places)

Miranda 2.05 Doncaster 2pts win @ 5-2

Emir Sacree 2.40 Doncaster 1pt e/w @ 15-2 (4 places Hills/Betfair)

One For The Team 3.15 Doncaster 1pt e/w @ 6-1 (5 places Hills/Skybet)

Canelo 3.15 Doncaster 1pt e/w @ 13-2 (5 places Hills/Skybet)

Masked Identity 3.30 Lingfield 1pt e/w @ 11-2 (2 places)

* ‘I Second That Emotion’ – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles (1967)

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