Double W’s didn’t show too much on his last two starts but he was ridden very prominently in both those races, which wouldn’t have been his usual racing style. He may just be regressive but the handicapper has dropped him 14lb for his last three runs and it is less than 18 months ago that Double W’s won three on the bounce off marks of 128, 133 & 138. He runs here of 128 and the flat track at Doncaster and good ground are his ideal conditions. Were he to come back to anywhere near the form of the spring/summer of 2019, he is definitely handicapped to run a big race now.
Dubh Des Champs shaped really nicely at Newcastle a couple of weeks ago, only being beaten three lengths and makes plenty of appeal on his return to Doncaster, where he has ran really well on both his previous visits. Both starts here have been over this trip and he was a winner here two years ago off a mark of 90 and in January this year he was 2nd off a mark of 93, when there was a big gap back to the third that day. He runs here off a mark of 97, but has the assistance of a 7lb claimer and with the ground in his favour, he should run a big race.
This looks an absolute cracking renewal of the Grade 2 Long Distance Hurdle, with the last two Stayers’ Hurdle winners in Lisnagar Oscar and Paisley Park in the field along with Sam Spinner, Summerville Boy and Thyme Hill.
One of the most unexposed members of the field is McFabulous and this test might just bring out the very best in him. A top class bumper performer, he won the Aintree Bumper in 2019 but was a slow burner over hurdles, being between on his first two starts, both over two miles. The step up to 2m 4f really seemed to suit him and he followed up his win at Market Rasen by turning a competitive handicap hurdle at Kempton into a rout.
That was off a mark of 132 but he was just as easy a winner when stepping up to Grade 2 company last month when taking the Persian War novices hurdle at Chepstow. He now steps up to Grade 1 company for the first time, but the ground is ideal for him and he shapes like he will improve again for the step up to 3 miles.
I’m excited to see what he can achieve.
Companionship caught the eye on debut at Kempton when running a fast closing sectional after a slow beginning. She should improve plenty for that experience but I am going to side with Quenelle D’Or, who created a decent impression on her debut at Nottingham earlier this month, knowing her job and only getting caught in the final 100 yards.
She is drawn well here, which should help her to get out to the lead and the Hugo Palmer yard remain in decent form, so everything looks in place for Quenelle D’Or to run a big race.
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