AFTER a sensational Cheltenham for us, we invited Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) back to give us his views on Saturday’s racing from Doncaster.
14.45 Doncaster | Channel 4
The Lincoln is the first big flat handicap of the season and a notoriously tough race to find the winner.
With winter racing and training facilities so much more advanced these days, it’s easier to have runners primed for this and it’s a race that’ll some winning.
The favourite here is the David O’Meara-trained Lord Of The Land (5/1 Ladbrokes). This French import has been shipped over from Andre Fabre and falls in to the ‘could be anything’ category.
Lord Of The Land won his last two starts and joins connections that are masters of squeezing every little bit of improvement out of a horse. He’s been very well backed in the run up to the race but I don’t want to back a horse at 5/1 in this race, so I’m taking him on.
Mutarakez (9/1 Bet365) is an interesting runner. After racking up a hat-trick, he disappointed at Royal Ascot in the Britannia Stakes and that was the last we’ve seen of him.
Mutarakez didn’t seem to enjoy the form ground there and will be seen to better effect here. He’s still unexposed and potentially well treated but I’m not sure I want to back a horse in a big field handicap who was last seen flopping on a big field handicap.
The one I’m taking a chance on is the Andrew Balding-trained Man Of Harlech (16/1 Bet365). Second in a course and distance handicap last season, he followed that up with a fourth in the Cambridgeshire, showing his liking for big fields.
Man Of Harlech won on the all weather after that, although he wasn’t at his best since finishing fourth in the Easter Classic at Lingfield last week. The return to turf and the big field should be right up his street and he comes here with race fitness on his side.
I expect Man Of Harlech to give us a run for our money and I plan to back him each-way here.
15.20 Doncaster | Channel 4
A 14-runner listed race over six furlongs, the Cammidge Trophy has attracted a decent looking field; two former winners of the Prix D’Labbye line up and it’s got a solid look to it. A case could be made for a few but there is one here that I’m very interested in.
Jack Dexter (6/1 Bet365) won a course and distance handicap at the end of last season and is a horse that should have more wins to his name. That victory was his first in over two seasons and he often seems to get going too late in his races.
He won this race three years ago and has come third and fourth in the Cammidge in the past two seasons – he is likely to run his race here but I can’t back him to win.
Alben Star (11/2 BetVictor) won the all-weather sprint championship last week and ran out an emphatic winner in the end. Like most sprinters he’s an in-and-out performer but has to be respected on the back of last week’s showing.
However, Alben Star likes quicker ground and he’s not going to encounter that here. Despite putting up a career best effort last week, his recent turf runs tell me to oppose him.
The one I really like is the David O’Meara-trained Suedois (5/1 Bet365). He’s another French import for connections and everything looks primed for him to run a huge race.
Suedois won three times last season, including a Deauville Group-3 on heavy ground and comes here without a penalty for that race. Not only that but he won on his seasonal debut last year and the fact he goes well fresh makes him a big player here.
There are question marks about a lot of runners and I think this race looks perfect for him Suedois. Unless he is very uneasy in the betting on Saturday, I plan to back him to win.
14.45 Doncaster – Man Of Harlech (16/1 each-way Bet365)
15.20 Doncaster – Suedois (5/1 Bet365)
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