The Doncaster coverage starts with a Listed contest over 6 furlongs. JUST FRANK hugely impressed me at Newmarket last time and while the ground will be deeper here it was officially soft that day. Trained by Les Eyre and ridden by Lewis Edmunds, Just Frank is improving all the time, and has size and scope to get even better. He might be hard to catch for Zamaani.
The jumps racing kicks off with a hurdle event over an extended 2m. ALLMANKIND is a bit of a lunatic, but if he’s as good first time out this season as he was when third in the Triumph Hurdle then he should take some pegging back. Although, it’s fair to say that third is hugely flattering as of course Goshen came down when clear at the last. Should run huge for Dan and Harry Skelton.
Now a handicap over 5 furlongs. I’ve tipped MIGHTY SPIRIT a couple of times recently and she’s on the verge of a win, although this is a hard race to call.
Richard Fahey’s challenger is well handicapped on the best of her form and Megan Nicholls gets on well with the filly. The pair ran a cracker at York last time and if repeating that will be hard to keep out the frame at the very least.
Now a novices’ chase over 2m 4f. Some very promising types on show here, and the one I hope will come out on top is PILEON, who ran a cracker at the Festival over hurdles when second in the Martin Pipe Conditional to Indefatigable. Pileon stays and goes with juice should it rain, while the master Philip Hobbs will have him ready for Richard Johnson.
This is the big one, the Group 1 Futurity for youngsters over 1m. ONE RULER was impressive in the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket last time and can come through late here to score for Charlie Appleby and William Buick.
he’s a lot better than his third to New Mandate in the Flying Scotsman at this track, although even that form is decent enough. Obviously, the Dewhurst second Wembley and promising King Vega will be big threats, and State of Rest should run well at larger odds as well.
A handicap hurdle here over 3m and we have a wide open affair. SIROBBIE stays 3m strong and looked better than ever at Uttoxeter last time, when coming from off the pace to win well. If building on that he’s got every chance for Harry Whittington and Adrain Heskin, who remains one of the best jockeys around.
This is a Group 3 over 7 furlongs for juveniles once known as the Horris Hill. LANEQASH should be a good thing here after his fine second to New Mandate in the Flying Scotsman at Doncaster.
I tipped him up that day and I still can’t believe he got beat, but probably not having the rail made all the difference. He will be hard to beat here if in the same form for Roger Varian and Jim Crowley.
This is handicap chase company here over 3m 1f and it’s another very tricky race to sort out. Frodon might be better at a bit shorter, so I’ll have a few quid each-way on WEST APPROACH.
He is not always the easiest of rides, but who has the ability to win this race as he has shown in the past. The Colin Tizzard runner will be held up out the back, so hope for a late run from off the pace under Harry Cobden.
Now the Group 3 St Simon over 1m 4f, where RAYMOND TUSK might be interesting here under Jamie Spencer for Richard Hannon. The five-year-old goes well in the mud and has back class, which gives him every chance.
He flopped on his return at Wolverhampton, but he probably needed the run and went from the front over further. I suspect Spencer will hold him up here for a late rattle.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
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13:45 Doncaster – Just Frank
14:05 Cheltenham – Allmankind
14:20 Doncaster – Mighty Spirit
14:40 Cheltenham – Pileon
14:55 Doncaster – One Ruler
15:15 Cheltenham – Sirobbie
15:35 Newbury – Laneqash
15:50 Cheltenham – West Approach
16:10 Newbury – Raymond Tusk
- Ruby Walsh’s 10 to follow for the 2020/21 jumps season
- John Oxx: No trainer could ever expect to train a horse like Sea The Stars