Cases can be made for most of these but VICTIM flew home to get up late over 7f at Redcar last time and is taken to follow up now tackling 1m on his nursery debut. Sandown 7f nursery winner Valorant is another for whom the step up in trip looks a likely plus and she is feared most, ahead of Titian and Heights Of Abraham.
Ed Walker’s 2yos usually need their first runs but that certainly wasn’t the case on Tuesday, when he had two juvenile newcomers win at 33-1 and 12-1, and the well-bred Frankel filly BELOVED is taken to make a winning debut. The form standard set by New Day isn’t overly high and the main threat could come from another debutante. Haykal, Rani Of Jhansi and Sea Sylph all appeal on paper, with Sea Sylph feared most for last year’s winning trainer William Haggas.
Roger Varian won this with a newcomer last year and is taken to repeat the feat with the well-bred 425,000gns yearling EL DRAMA. John Gosden saddles Otyrar, while William Haggas runs Kaheall and Pagan, but perhaps Nibras Passion will be the main danger. He’s been well beaten on both starts but this headstrong sort could improve for the settling effect of a hood.
Dave Loughnane is enjoying a fine season, epitomised by TRANCHEE (nap) who may well have another win in him judged on his second place at York last time in a more competitive race than this. Jonah Jones is the danger having been an unlucky third at Ascot last time. King’s Lynn retains potential, while Bernardo O’Reilly won here last month and Tinto is ahead of the handicapper.
This is likely to be between Ocean Wind and OPERA GIFT, who both won impressively last time out. A 7lb rise for Ocean Wind’s win in the Cesarewitch Trial may prove to be lenient but bottom weight Opera Gift got better the further he went over 11.4f at Yarmouth on his handicap debut and today’s longer distance could prompt further improvement from this unexposed 3yo.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained ASTRO KING showed promise on his first two starts this summer and could prove to be better than his handicap debut mark. Perhaps there is still more to come from Amir Kabir, and he may be the chief threat.
Jedd O’Keeffe’s ST JUST returns to the scene of his best effort and may be worth siding with after shaping as if still in good form until his stamina gave out over 1m4f last time. Miss Mulligan is going the right way and there should be more to come from her back over 1m2f. Walkonby hasn’t fired since her reappearance but there are possible reasons for better this time and she also makes the shortlist. A market move for handicap newcomer First Charge would also bring him into the reckoning.
In a finale where a few have questions to answer the suggestion is OLYMPIC CONQUEROR who can usually be relied upon to give his running and is only 1lb higher than when successful on AW in June. Firewater is another who earns marks for consistency and a 3lb rise for his Ayr win is unlikely to prevent him figuring prominently again. A’Shamardi couldn’t add to his AW handicap debut win when a warm favourite at Wolverhampton last time but he remains unexposed back on turf.
The Racing Post’s tips for Doncaster on Friday
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